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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

The G-20 Summit in Toronto: Global Leadership to Combat Corruption

President Obama believes that the world’s major economies have a special responsibility to prevent and tackle corruption and to establish legal and policy frameworks that ensure the integrity of markets and promote a clean business environment.

In recent decades, the United States has been a global leader in building an international architecture to combat corruption:

  • We passed the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 1977, which prohibited bribery of foreign public officials, and we have extended its reach internationally through the creation of the Anti-Bribery Convention at the OECD.
  • We led in the effort to create a comprehensive global treaty, the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which now has 143 signatories.
  • We helped to establish the Financial Action Task Force to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, and have strongly supported its efforts on corruption.
  • We have used the G-8, among other fora, to advance our anti-corruption agenda by seeking concrete commitments from our allies and partners to set in place policies and practices that impede high-level corruption.

Today, the G-20 signaled its commitment to global leadership in the effort to combat corruption.  The G-20 reaffirmed its commitment to the full implementation of UNCAC and announced the establishment of a high-level experts group to develop a comprehensive set of concrete commitments for consideration by Leaders in Korea.

Building on our prior commitments in Pittsburgh, the group will dedicate particular attention to a role for the G-20 in strengthening international efforts to combat corruption with a focus on key areas that include:

  • Adopting and enforcing strong and effective anti-bribery rules;
  • Fighting corruption in the public and private sectors;
  • Preventing corrupt officials from accessing the global financial system;
  • Cooperation in visa denial, extradition, and asset recovery; and
  • Protecting whistleblowers who stand-up against corruption.

The United States sees corruption as a core part of the mandate of the G-20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation, and its efforts to follow through on commitments in Pittsburgh to strengthen the integrity of the international financial system.  Preventing and tackling corruption must be a key part of our efforts to shape an international economic architecture that is rules-based and transparent; that promotes trade and fair competition among businesses; and that fosters prosperity and development, by recognizing the fact that corruption, illicit outflows of capital, and their absorption in the global financial system represent impediments to economic growth.