Theme & Rationale

Designing 2030: Truth, Trust & Transparency

Ensuring the fight against corruption is at the centre of the post-pandemic world.

The 18th International Anti-Corruption Conference in Copenhagen brought together more than 1,600 people from 130 countries, drawn from civil society, governments, multilateral agencies, youth activists, musicians, filmmakers, journalists, and business.

As a global movement, we expressed our concern that around the world the foundations of democracy and the rule of law are under threat given the rise of authoritarian and populist regimes. Over more than a decade, despite countless declarations, promises and action plans, countries and institutions have fallen short of delivering on their promises. The time to act is now. The rise of state capture and the free flow of dirty money fuels human and environmental crimes, loss of privacy and civic space and weakens the capacity for international concerted action.

These challenges are even more pressing now in the face of the unprecedented risks of the COVID-19 pandemic, whose medium- and long-term consequences on social justice, peace and the fight against corruption are yet to be understood.

Considering the post-pandemic economic and governance risks and their impact on anti-corruption and transparency, we are urged to ask and act on the kind of world we want in 2030.

Shaping the 2030 Agenda for Truth, Trust and Transparency:

No matter how much progress is made on other fronts, it is our collective work over the next decade that will define the chances for a fair and sustainable future. When the 19th IACC takes place in 2020 from December 1-4 in Busan, Korea, the Conference and festivals will provide a distinctive opportunity to assess the future of the fight against corruption in the post-COVID-19 world and to shape the future we want to see in 2030. A future of Trust, Truth, and Transparency

Thematic Streams

  • Strategic Paths Towards a Positive Future

In an increasingly interdependent world where changing geopolitics, natural resources scarcity and new technologies set new trends and challenges, corruption increases in complexity and reach.

The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating these trends and fueling a fast, often unpredictable environment of change and instability. The urgency to strengthen partnerships across sectors and regions to design and implement strategies to ensure that change brings about transparency and justice is stronger than ever.

This thematic stream aims to provide a space to explore scenarios of what the next decade could look like and by doing so carve strategies, tools, and broader coalitions to meet those possible future scenarios. It will provide a special space within which delegates can reflect on the gravity and speed of the political, economic and social challenges, as well as the opportunities triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath.

  • New Transparency Standards for Peace and Social Justice

The rise of populism and extremism are eroding good governance worldwide. A sharp decrease in privacy and civic space poses further threats that demand new responses. Transparency and good governance are central to preventing corruption and the rise of non-democratic regimes. They are even more relevant in the post-COVID-19 context, wherein many cases emergency measures have meant severe restrictions on social and political rights. As it has happened in the past, there is a high risk that these emergency measures may outlive the pandemic and become the new normal in countries across the globe.

This thematic stream aims to identify the solutions and strategies that are essential to defend and strengthen the institutions and standards that safeguard the rights of citizens to live in fair and peaceful environments.

  • Breaking Vicious Cycles of Dirty Money and Impunity

Dirty money and grand corruption, environmental crimes, trafficking, and organized crime thrive on impunity due to money laundering, tax havens and anonymous companies and their enablers. The impact on public budgets, governmental effectiveness and human equity is devastating.

As vast resources are released to fight the pandemic with often-inadequate transparency and accountability mechanisms in place, there are increased risks that funds which should be used to mitigate the crisis and save people’s lives are embezzled and laundered. This global crisis increases the existing urgency to effectively address illicit financial flows and money laundering.

This thematic stream aims to assess the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on governance and anti-corruption measures against dirty money, review the progress since we last met in Copenhagen 2018 and to identify the most critical stumbling blocks in order to design our common goals against dirty money for 2030.

  • Defending the Truth

Truth seekers and those who defend them continue to move the needle in the fight against corruption. New technologies -and techniques- are being deployed in an increasingly fast pace, allowing journalists, advocates, and activists to amplify their voices when telling truth to power.

Yet those who seek to perpetuate their impunity for corruption equally benefit from technological innovations resulting in more complex strategies for mass manipulation, surveillance and invasion of privacy, and disinformation. As a result, truth seekers, advocates, and activists, as well as citizens face the increasing consequences of fake news, manipulation, and harassment.

While the power of global news conglomerates, social media and advanced tech firms raise their public accountability falls short. Meanwhile, independent truth-seekers and organizations face increasing financial, legal and safety hardships.

The information battles related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ones that seek to end political and social discrimination and violence are escalating these trends, fueling political and social tensions at all levels, where the corrupt, as perpetrators, fight to maintain their power status.

This thematic stream aims to assess and inform our movement on the state of the information battles and how the new trends continue to change the anti-corruption fight. It will seek to forge new partnerships and identify strategies to defend the truth and the truth seekers against the corrupt who are increasing the violent actions against truth-seekers and defenders.

  • Restoring Trust by Collective Action

The anti-corruption movement has placed corruption, transparency and integrity at the center of the global agenda, with numerous conventions, laws, partnerships and commitments firmly rooted in the international institutional setting. However, governments and institutions have fallen short in addressing the challenges posed by corruption and lack of integrity. To date, thanks to the fast pace of new technologies, the return to non-democratic and nationalistic tendencies and continuous attacks to international cooperation are further eroding the trust between citizens and public and private institutions. Given these challenges our existing governance infrastructure risks becoming obsolete.

Today, the pandemic‘s quarantine and social distancing measures, rising social tensions fueled by a mounting political polarization and the global re-emergence of racial politics can seriously harm social cohesion and trust which are critical for holding those in power to account.

This stream aims to forge new and stronger alliances in the pursuit of new and reinvigorated integrity policies and strategies. It will seek to redefine our role in the face of the changing social and political trends.

  • Common Efforts to Advance Social Justice

In line with the 19th IACC theme, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s)set the global development agenda for 2030, providing a global framework for international cooperation to advance our common aspirations for a sustainable, fair and peaceful future. The SDG’s -especially Goal 16- call the global community to substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms and to develop effective, accountable, and transparent institutions at all levels.

The achievement of the SDGs is at risk. Changing geopolitics and unprecedented economic hardships due to the COVID19 pandemic may take the SDGs to the back seat. Our near- and long-term future is likely to exacerbate inequalities, taking a disproportionate toll on the poor, the vulnerable and the marginalized.

Hundreds of billions of USD are being spent on economic recovery. International Financial Institutions may loan upwards of trillions of US Dollars. Corruption, particularly in highly sensitive areas such as procurement, rescue packages and tax incentives risk harming societies and the vulnerable in unprecedented levels. What is more, large proportions of societies in countries rich and poor are already facing limited access to housing, jobs, health care and social safety nets.

How can our anti-corruption and transparency global movement lead a paradigm shift where equity and justice, secured by anti-corruption and transparency, leading national and international policies? This thematic stream will assess progress on the delivery on the UN’s Global Development Goals, with a focus on Goal 16, and seek to generate strategies to safeguard its implementation as a key driver of global cooperation.

The call for workshop proposals is now closed.

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