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  • Writer's pictureInternational Lawyers Project

IACC 2024: Collective Action to fight Global Corruption

by Megan Musni

Photo: IACC 2024 took place at the Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Centre (LITEXPO) in Vilnius

Welcoming thousands of attendees from around the world, the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) held in Vilnius, Lithuania, from 18-21 June 2024, highlighted the role of civil society in the fight against global corruption. Widely-recognised as the biggest forum for specialists tackling corruption, Oliver Windridge and Megan Musni from the International Lawyers Project’s (ILP) Governance and Accountability team joined the IACC’s assembly of experts, government officials, civil society actors and academics from more than 135 countries.

Photo: Oliver Windridge, ILP Senior Director (left), and Megan Musni, ILP Senior Legal Manager (right)

“Shaking hands over shady deals” François Valérian, Chair of the Transparency International (TI), described corruption as the damaging part of countries’ cultures and one of the reasons why economies fail. Ranking 180 countries, TI’s latest Corruption Perceptions Index reported that over two-thirds of countries have serious corruption problems. With corruption cutting across borders, countries need to address this global issue from multiple fronts by collaborating with multi-sectoral stakeholders and using transnational mechanisms to call forth collective action.


Equally distinctive to this year’s Conference is the recognition of the role of corruption not only in fueling the climate crisis but also as an identified critical element affecting the global supply chain.

Transnational Corruption and the Global Supply Chain

Linking the nexus between transnational crime, the environment, and corruption, environmental crime has become the third most lucrative criminal activity in the world, which generates up to US$280 billion of illegal proceeds per year. Considered as “low-risk and high reward,” corruption allows environmental crimes to flourish in all stages of the global supply chain. In timely and relevant response to this global threat, Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General of the Council of Europe has announced the issuance of a new Convention on the protection of the environment through criminal law at the end of the year.

Photo: IACC 2024 Plenary Session

Next Steps

The culmination of this year’s IACC acknowledged the importance of following a multi-stakeholder collaborative approach involving not only the government but also the private sector, civil society actors, and communities. In working with the private sector, especially those in the financial services and banks, there will be substantial improvement on due diligence efforts involving entire supply chains. In addition, the “follow-the-money” approach in cooperation with financial investigative units tackling illicit financial flows and money laundering is likewise seen as an effective deterrent against transnational crimes and corruption.


In its report, TI also acknowledged the global trend of weakening justice systems and reduced accountability for public officials which have allowed corruption to thrive. To counteract this emergent problem, there is an imperative and collective need to strengthen the rule of law by enhancing domestic and international legal mechanisms, as well as capacitating strong institutions.


With international policy action, coupled with the political will to collectively fight corruption, a future where economic and environmental justice prevails is within reach.


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