An official website of the United States Government Here's how you know

Official websites use .gov

A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS

A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Ministers, fellow anti-corruption officials, and distinguished leaders of international organizations, let me begin by thanking India and the chair, in particular for convening today’s Ministerial meeting.  India’s leadership in the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group, along with Italy as co-chair, has helped the G20 sustain momentum on many critical issues.

Before continuing, I join the many countries gathered here today that have made statements in condemning in the strongest terms the Kremlin’s war of choice against Ukraine.  We call on Russia to end its brutal and unprovoked war against Ukraine and its flagrant violations of international law.

This meeting comes at an auspicious time.  In just a few months, we’ll celebrate the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention against Corruption (or “UNCAC”).  This milestone presents a singular opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made in the common fight against corruption as well as to consider where we must redouble our efforts.

There is little doubt we have made great strides in our anti-corruption work.  Guided by a robust international architecture – outlined in treaties and standards like the UNCAC, Anti-Bribery Convention, and FATF – we have made anti-corruption measures commonplace.

We can be rightfully proud of the progress achieved over the past two decades.  We cannot, however, rest on our laurels.

From day one, the Biden-Harris Administration recognized the continuing danger corruption poses and made combating it a national priority.

Though our response to this priority includes many activities, including capacity building for corruption prevention and international assistance, let me focus my comments now on our work to hold corrupt actors accountable.  The United States has a robust framework for doing so, both at home and in support of our partners around the world.

Last year, for example, the Department of Justice convicted 18 individuals under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  Criminal and civil resolutions brought by the Department of Justice and the US Securities and Exchange Commission totaled more than $2.2 billion.

We have made denial of safe haven a priority.  Through accountability tools, such as visa restrictions, the Global Magnitsky sanctions program, and several other sanctions programs, the United States is denying corrupt actors access to both our territory and our financial system.

Since December 2017, the United States has designated over 300 corrupt persons worldwide pursuant to our Global Magnitsky authority.  And last year, the Department of State publicly designated over 85 corrupt actors and their immediate family members under our visa restriction authorities, barring them from entering the United States.  Beyond protecting our own territory and financial system, these measures also have the salutary benefit of supporting the efforts of our international partners in advancing their own accountability work.

The United States also continues to focus on the recovery and return of proceeds of crime – a priority I know our Indian hosts share.  Under the Department of Justice’s Kleptocracy Initiative, we have filed cases in courts to confiscate over $3.6 billion in corruption proceeds over the past few years; successfully confiscated over $1.7 billion of these assets so far; and, to date returned and assisted in the return of nearly $1.63 billion to the people harmed by the corruption.  This is money that is now benefiting the people from whom it was stolen.  All these efforts are critical to the fight against corruption. But, the United States is not afraid to say we can and must do better.  We must continually strive to address new or overlooked challenges.

The G20 must similarly find ways to improve our collective anti-corruption efforts.  As ministers and anti-corruption officials, it is our responsibility to lead these efforts.  This starts with taking the commitments we are making in the Communique seriously.

In the Communique, all our countries recommitted to promote the wider participation of civil society, private sector, and media in the fight against corruption, and ensure they have the freedom and operating space to do their job effectively.  This includes the ability to operate independently and without fear of reprisal.

We have also once again committed to ensuring our countries have criminalized foreign bribery and are actively enforcing these laws.  There is no ambiguity here – we have an obligation, and we must fulfil it, and to this end, we welcome the opportunity to restart a joint session between the ACWG and the Working Group on Bribery.

And, we have committed to seek to ensure women’s full, equal, and meaningful participation and leadership in preventing and combatting corruption.  The fight against corruption cannot be won unless all members of our society have an equal voice.  We cannot overlook as well the effects that corruption can have on other parts of our international society, particularly marginalized and indigenous groups that are often exploited by corrupt actors.

With all of this in mind, the G20 has a unique opportunity to demonstrate leadership on these issues and others at the UNCAC Conference of States Parties in December.  As host of the COSP, the United States will focus on all forms of accountability and reaffirm the critical need of all countries upholding their anti-corruption obligations and commitments – most notably those under the UNCAC.

And as the nominee for president of the COSP in Atlanta, I am committed to pushing each of you to continue the progress we have achieved over the last 20 years.  I hope to see all of you there; sustained high level focus and participation is essential to our success.

The United States thanks India for its leadership this year and we look forward to working closely with Brazil to continue this important work in 2024.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future