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UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime

Adopted: 15 November 2000 by the General Assembly of the United Nations
Signatories: 147 (as of 7 October 2005) Opened for signature on 12 December 2000
Parties: 146 (as of 29 September 2008)
Entry into force: 29 September 2003
Open to: All countries and regional economic organisations
Website for updated information
Full convention text.

The UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), adopted in November 2000, recognises that corruption is an integral component of transnational organised crime and must be addressed as part of efforts to combat organised crime.

The obligations of the parties fall into the following categories:

  1. Prevention: In general terms, the Convention calls for effective measures to promote integrity and to prevent the corruption of public officials and specifically calls for public authorities to be provided with adequate independence in order to deter the exertion of inappropriate influence on their actions.
  2. Criminalisation: As part of the Convention’s international framework for addressing transnational organised crime, requires States Parties to criminalise corruption, focusing particularly on bribery of public officials. It also calls for effective measures to detect and punish the corruption of public officials and specifically calls for public authorities to be provided with adequate independence in order to deter the exertion of inappropriate influence on their actions.
  3. Anti-money laundering: UNTOC also requires criminalisation of money laundering and the establishment of a domestic regulatory and supervisory regime for banks and other financial institutions to combat money laundering. States are also called on to fight corruption in the private sector.
  4. International cooperation: To fulfil its aim of addressing cross-border aspects of organised crime, UNTOC provides for a broad framework for mutual legal assistance, extradition, law-enforcement cooperation and technical assistance and training. This international cooperation has the potential to improve mutual law enforcement assistance, notably in extradition and investigations. These provisions provided the basis for the international cooperation provisions in the UN Convention against Corruption. The provisions are largely mandatory and cover specific aspects of law enforcement cooperation such as extradition, gathering and transferring evidence, assisting investigations and prosecutions. They include requirements that states parties consider joint investigations, special investigative techniques and the transfer of criminal proceedings.

Download the summary overview for additional information about the UNTOC and its strengths and weaknesses.

See monitoring provisions for UNCAC in the monitoring section.

See Transparency International's work on conventions in TI projects & activities.


Find more on the UNCAC Coalition

TI Policy Position:
Effectively Monitoring the United Nations
Convention against Corruption (UNCAC)