Executive summary

The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) is the only legally binding, global anti-corruption instrument. The Convention was adopted by the General Assembly in October 2003 and entered into force in December 2005. As of 1 June 2016, 178 countries plus the European Union have become States parties to UNCAC,1 representing a groundbreaking commitment to prevent and tackle corruption.

UNCAC is unique in its holistic approach, adopting prevention and enforcement measures, including mandatory requirements for criminalizing corrupt behaviours. The Convention also reflects the transnational nature of corruption, providing an international legal basis for enabling international cooperation and recovering proceeds of corruption (i.e. stolen assets). The important role of government, the private sector and civil society in fighting corruption is also emphasized. The Convention includes an implementation review mechanism (UNCAC Review Mechanism), requiring each State party to be reviewed periodically by two other States parties on its implementation of UNCAC. The Convention also calls on each State party to provide technical assistance and training, and exchange information for the purpose of strengthening implementation.

The aim of this report is to provide an overview of the implementation of UNCAC Chapter III (Criminalization and law enforcement) by States parties under review in the Pacific region until mid-2015 — namely, the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. It is based on information included in the country review reports of these States.2

1 By becoming a State party to UNCAC (either through ratification, if the country has signed the treaty in accordance with article 67(1), or accession), the country agrees to become legally bound by the treaty at the international level. Depending on the specific legal system of the country, the Convention may need to be domesticated before it becomes legally binding at the national level.

2 The information contained in the UNCAC review reports was provided before or during the country visits to the respective countries (see Annex I), which is the reason for why some of the information may be outdated. This report draws only on the information contained in the UNCAC review reports of the States parties in the Pacific region and contains no subsequent updates. The executive summaries are published documents and therefore country-specific details in these summaries are cited in the report. However, information in the UNCAC review reports of countries that have not published their full reports remains confidential; country names have not been used when referring to this information unless the nominated UNCAC Focal Point of the respective country has explicitly agreed.

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