By iaccAdmin

In June 2024, over 2000 people from more than 140 countries, working across a wide range of sectors, convened in person in Lithuania to participate in the 21st International Anti-Corruption Conference. We gathered with a shared sense of urgency, and a commitment to working together to address pressing global threats which are exacerbated by corruption, to uphold integrity, and to secure a just, peaceful and sustainable future for all.

We came together in Vilnius at a time when our global community faces unprecedented challenges—from escalating conflicts and environmental crises to the erosion of democracy, shared values, and human rights. Recognizing the pervasive influence of corruption in these crises, we reaffirmed our dedication to combating corruption as central to our common future.

At the 20th International Anti-Corruption Conference, in Washington DC, USA, in 2022, we concluded that fighting corruption is vital to defending democratic values and global security. We underscored the need to restore trust in institutions, protect those fighting corruption, address corruption which harms the environment, and tackle human trafficking and organized crime.

The Washington Declaration emphasized that only through transparency, accountability, and collective action can we overcome corruption and safeguard democracy.

In these tumultuous times, as corruption’s tentacles stretch across the globe, the stakes have never been higher. The very fabric of our societies is at risk, with integrity under relentless assault from adversaries who exploit chaos and the impunity of the powerful.

The urgency of our mission has never been greater: we must rise together, strong and united, to defend all those who stand against corruption and for integrity. Amid these profound challenges our unity, purpose, and determination continue to encourage countless people to join our fight to maintain the moral compass of our society, and to devise new strategies to combat those who are corrupt.

Inspired by this year’s conference theme, Confronting Global Threats: Standing Up for Integrity, we therefore pledge to:

Defend the defenders

In a world where corruption tears apart the fabric of society, brave individuals and groups step forward to defend integrity and confront the forces of corruption. We agree to honour the champions of integrity and reward their determination in the face of danger by protecting them against formidable adversaries.

Governments, civil society, and international bodies must strengthen laws, networks and strategies to further support and protect whistleblowers and all those who defend integrity, regardless of background, taking into account gender, race, age, religion, income and all other dimensions of corruption.

Target environmental crimes

Greed and corruption are at the root of a broken economic paradigm and the associated environmental crimes, which have accelerated e climate change, biodiversity loss and a collapse of the ecosystems on which all life depends. Catastrophic weather events in recent years are a looming warning of what is to come.

We call on governments, businesses, and civil society to decisively fight corruption in climate finance projects and to fight crimes against our environment, with the goal of preventing global environmental catastrophes and accelerating a just transition from an economy rooted in extraction and exploitation, to one based on regeneration and restoration.

Stop kleptocrats, criminals, traffickers, and their accomplices

Corrupt networks benefit from the failure of reforms, and the capture of democratic institutions and of states. We call upon all to join hands To dismantle their global enterprise. Let us uncover and learn from their strategies, address failures in anti-corruption reforms, ensure agile responses and presumptive improvements that deliver breakthroughs in joint efforts against this dark criminal network putting perpetrators on the defensive.

Prevent global insecurity and violent conflicts

Preventing corruption will also minimise global insecurity, violence, and conflict, since they are deeply interconnected. Violent conflicts and crises benefit kleptocrats and their accomplices, creating chaos which acts as a cover for corruption, and cause immeasurable harm.

We call upon all to address the deadly effects of corruption on peace and human security and enforce actions to stop corruption as a precursor and trigger of conflicts, and as an obstacle to peaceful and fair resolutions.

Build an ethical global economy

Unethical businesses contribute to our current global threats. We call on leaders of integrity in the business sector to use their power to promote fairness. We will support them to intensify their work in advancing a business culture based on integrity and transparency, and to further promote collective action to achieve a sustainable, equitable, and prosperous world economy, where accountability fosters better business.

Leverage technology to fight corruption

Technological advancements, while offering immense opportunities for good, also pose unprecedented integrity risks. We commit ourselves to work together to harness the positive power of the latest tech innovations to accelerate the race against corruption.

This will include showcasing the best examples of tech-fuelled anti-corruption initiatives, and equipping our global movement with the knowledge to maximize the power of technology to fight corruption.

Uphold the principles of democracy and human rights

The global multilateral system, with its emphasis on the universal values of freedom, equality, and solidarity, is under siege. We call upon all to protect the fundamental rights and dignity of people worldwide against the ambitions of the corrupt, with a focus on vulnerable groups.

We commit ourselves to strengthen our efforts to promote respect for the human rights of all people, especially in the face of rising kleptocracies and captured states which are led by those responsible for corruption and repression.

Stop the flows of dirty money

Illegally obtained wealth perpetuates poverty, insecurity, and violations of human rights while weakening democratic institutions thus contributing to democratic backsliding. Corruption schemes are often transnational and depend upon the international financial system to transfer money across borders.

We call upon all to stop the flow of dirty money from its origins to its intended havens. Let us work together to close the loopholes in the global financial system that allow money laundering and payment of bribes.

We must expose and hold to account the enablers of corruption, holding bankers, lawyers, accountants and service providers to account for aiding the corrupt. We call upon all relevant authorities to collaborate to identify and recover illicitly acquired wealth and assets, and to repatriate stolen money to repair the damage caused to the victims of corruption.

Uncover complex corruption schemes

We stress the need for continuous training and capacity-building programs to equip law enforcement agencies and anti-corruption authorities with the necessary skills and tools to uncover complex corruption schemes. Investing in cutting-edge forensic capabilities, data analytics, and financial intelligence is paramount to staying ahead of increasingly sophisticated methods employed by corrupt actors.

Elevate the work of leaders with energy, integrity, and passion

Revitalizing the fight against corruption requires energy, integrity, and passion to champion social justice. We aim to elevate the work of leaders who are igniting social movements with innovative approaches, fresh perspectives, and dynamic movements.

Collaborative action is the key to success. There are no insurmountable obstacles for this brave and committed anti-corruption community. Together we will prevail.

We are grateful to the Government and people of Lithuania, in particular the Special Investigation Service of the Republic of Lithuania for hosting and supporting the 21th IACC. We look forward to continuing our cooperation to defend integrity and transparency.

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