Mission


Integrity Initiatives International "III" (pron. "triple I"), was formed in 2016 to combat grand corruption by:

  1. Institutionalizing the effort to create an International Anti-Corruption Court (IACC)
  2. Advocating for the development and enforcement of other measures to punish and deter corrupt leaders
  3. Forging a network of young people dedicated to fighting grand corruption in their own countries and around the world
 

Background


In 2016, United States District Judge Mark L. Wolf, Justice Richard Goldstone of South Africa, and colleagues formed Integrity Initiatives International ("III") to combat grand corruption -- the abuse of public office for personal gain by a nation's leaders. The mission of III is to: institutionalize the effort to create an International Anti-Corruption Court ("IACC"); advocate for the development and enforcement of other measures to punish and deter corrupt leaders; and forge a network of young people dedicated to fighting grand corruption in their own countries and around the world.

In 2014, Judge Wolf published a Brookings Institution article and Washington Post Op-Ed piece advocating the creation of an IACC to combat grand corruption. As explained in the articles, an IACC is needed because: grand corruption is very costly; corrupt regimes create constituents for terrorists, and provide safe havens for them and drug dealers; grand corruption is closely correlated with the most egregious abuses of human rights; and indignation at grand corruption is destabilizing many countries and, in the process, creating grave dangers to international peace and security.

The proposal for an IACC, similar to but separate from the International Criminal Court, has generated substantial support and interest from around the world. It is supported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Co-Chair of the Lantos Human Rights Commission of the United States House of Representatives, Transparency International, Human Rights Watch, Global Witness, Global Parliamentarians Against Corruption, and leading international prosecutors including Justice Goldstone, Luis Moreno Ocampo of Argentina, Jose Ugaz of Peru, and Sergio Moro of Brazil. The proposal is also supported by courageous, inspiring young people from many countries. In April 2017, President Juan Manuel Santos, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016, made Colombia the first country to endorse the IACC.

The proposal for an IACC has also generated: a seminar at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government; presentations at the World Economic Forum in Geneva, the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum in Russia, the World Forum on Governance in Prague, the Rights for Peace Conference in Slovenia, the 2016 Anti-Corruption Summit in London, the 2016 International Anti-Corruption Conference in Panama, the United States House of Representatives, and Department of State; and programs at the National Endowment for Democracy, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Aspen Institute, Columbia University, Brandeis University, the Harvard Carr Center for Human Rights, and Harvard Law School.

In 2016, among many other activities, III worked with the White House and Department of State concerning the International Anti-Corruption Summit in London. It also collaborated with Transparency International to organize events relating to the Summit in Washington, D.C. and London.

III is now working with partners to develop a series of additional events to advance the proposal for an IACC, including: programs in Latin America in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank, in preparation for the 2018 Summit of the Americas in Peru; programs in Germany and in the Czech Republic for young people from many countries actively interested in the IACC; programs in the Hague involving individuals expert in creating and sustaining international courts; and a meeting in Geneva of leaders of human rights organizations. It is hoped that these events will culminate in a program at the Salzburg Global Seminar in Austria, which would feature the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and bring together statesmen, leaders of civil society, and younger people to create a coalition to campaign for the IACC.

III is also working in partnership with other organizations in an effort to assure that the United States' leadership and financial support for programs to combat corruption internationally are not diminished. In addition, it is collaborating with Harvard faculty to found a program on corruption and human rights at the Kennedy School. III is also: working with the World Bank to strengthen its anti-corruption efforts; advising Ukrainian officials in their effort to create a national special anti-corruption court; assisting Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Transparency International-Russia to create a program to provide legal assistance to whistleblowers and publicize their work; and will have a leading role at the 2017 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference.

Grand Corruption – the abuse of public office for personal profit by a nation’s leaders – is not a victimless crime. As Prime Minister David Cameron has explained, corrupt governments: syphon off resources that should be devoted to the health and education of their citizens; generate migrants drowning in the Mediterranean; and convert their citizens into constituents for terrorists. Indignation at grand corruption is destabilizing many nations and, in the process, creating grave dangers for international peace and security.

As Secretary of State John Kerry asserted, “the quality of governance is no longer just a domestic concern.” Yet, as Prime Minister Cameron noted, “when it comes to tackling corruption, the international community has looked the other way for far too long.”

Laws exist to combat grand corruption. 178 nations are parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (“UNCAC”). Each has the laws UNCAC requires criminalizing extortion, bribery, and money laundering, and an international legal obligation to enforce those laws against their corrupt leaders. Yet grand corruption flourishes in many countries because corrupt leaders control the administration of justice.

To deter and diminish grand corruption, it is essential that the statutes required by UNCAC be enforced. Greater transparency of beneficial ownership is necessary. Improved international cooperation in investigating the flow of the fruits of grand corruption is important. However, transparency and the acquisition of evidence are not ends in themselves. There must be an impartial court in which corrupt leaders can be held accountable.

In 2014, I called for the creation of an International AntiCorruption Court (“IACC”), similar to, but separate from, the International Criminal Court (“ICC”). Like the ICC, the IACC would operate on the principle of complementarity, meaning only officials from countries unable or unwilling to punish grand corruption would be subject to prosecution.

Since 2014, the IACC has received support from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Transparency International, Human Rights Watch, Global Witness, Global Parliamentarians Against Corruption, and leading international prosecutors. It is also supported by courageous young people from many countries. Integrity Initiatives International was recently formed to campaign for the creation of the IACC and related measures.

In 2002, the evils of genocide and other intolerable human rights abuses led to the creation of the ICC. It is time to recognize that the comparable consequences of grand corruption require the creation of the IACC.

— The Honorable Mark L. Wolf
Chair, Integrity Initiatives International
2016 London Anti-Corruption Summit

Board