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G20 High-Level Principles on Cooperation on Persons Sought for Corruption and Asset Recovery

2016 Hangzhou Summit
Hangzhou, Published on September 27, 2016

Corruption damages citizens' trust in government, undermines the rule of law, and hinders economic growth and development. For the G20, preventing and combating corruption contributes to the shared objective of building an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive global economy, and fostering international cooperation constitutes a critical step to this end.

In accordance with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), and building upon the G20 Common Principles for Action: Denial of Safe Haven, the G20 High-Level Principles on Mutual Legal Assistance and the G20 key asset recovery principles as well as proposals endorsed at previous G20 leaders' summits on strengthening international law enforcement cooperation against corruption, the G20 commits to leading by example and endorses the following set of principles.

While implementing these principles, G20 members recognize that fighting corruption requires a strong foundation, which includes respect for international law, a commitment to respecting human rights and the rule of law as well as a commitment to respect the sovereignty of each country and their international commitments and domestic legal systems. Nothing in these principles should be interpreted as enabling a G20 member to undertake activities in the territory of another state.

I. Our Stance: Zero Tolerance

1. Aware of the detrimental effects of persons sought for corruption fleeing and transferring the proceeds of corruption abroad, we should, where appropriate, work towards denying safe haven to these persons and the proceeds of their crimes.

2. We recognize the value of international law enforcement cooperation and mutual legal assistance and acknowledge that working together can foster effective and efficient international anti-corruption cooperation.

II. Our Institutions: Zero Loopholes

3. Relevant public authorities should have effective procedures in place for denying safe haven to persons sought for corruption should their actions be unlawful in the country that they are seeking to enter or have already entered. We encourage all countries to review, consistent with their international obligations, relevant immigration programmes or policies, to prevent them from being abused by persons seeking safe haven for themselves and their proceeds of crime.

4. We recognize the utility in domestic coordination mechanisms through which relevant authorities in charge of detection, investigation and prosecution of corruption offences as well as the recovery of the proceeds of such offences, and international cooperation can effectively collaborate with each other.

5. We recognize the important baseline for international legal cooperation established by UNCAC, including for civil and administrative proceedings where appropriate and consistent with domestic legal system. We are encouraged to support effective international cooperation in anti-corruption matters based on a variety of legal frameworks. We will endeavour, where appropriate, to apply effectively the extradition and MLA provisions of UNCAC and other applicable international conventions. In support of this objective, the G20 calls upon UN member states to ratify or accede to UNCAC if they have not already done so. We also support the use, where appropriate, of international co-operation provisions of other legal instruments such as the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the OECD Convention against Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

III. Our Objective: Zero Barriers

6. We acknowledge that effective and timely communication and cooperation between competent authorities, in accordance with applicable laws, can curb the movement of persons sought for corruption, as well as assets generated by corruption offences. To this end, we are encouraged to use appropriate points of contact to facilitate information exchange between each other, as set out in existing agreements or international fora and networks, such as the G20 Denial of Entry Experts' Network.

7. We encourage each other to facilitate case-specific multilateral and bilateral cooperation against corruption, including, as needs arise, the designation of competent authorities for case coordination.

8. We encourage close coordination between/among law enforcement authorities to establish contact with persons sought for corruption, subject to applicable international and domestic law. We will consult, where appropriate and in strict compliance with existing bilateral agreements and G20 members' commitments, to establish proper working procedures in this regard, where such procedures do not already exist.

9. We reaffirm that asset recovery is a fundamental principle of UNCAC and are committed to the implementation of Chapter V of the Convention.

10. To enhance the effectiveness of international cooperation in anti-corruption matters, we are encouraged to enhance capacity building, institutional values and ethics, and experience-sharing in this area, in close coordination with existing relevant international and regional organizations, initiatives and networks.

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Source: Official website of the G20 presidency

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