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, which is also known as "kleptocracy" -- the abuse of public office for personal gain by a nation's leaders.  The mission of III is to strengthen the enforcement of criminal laws in order to punish and deter leaders who are corrupt and also regularly violate human rights, and to create opportunities for the democratic process to replace them with leaders dedicated to serving their citizens rather than enriching themselves.

Among other things, III is: advocating the creation of an International Anti-Corruption Court ("IACC"); advocating for other means to strengthen the enforcement of criminal laws against kleptocrats; promoting understanding of the close connection between grand corruption and violations of human rights; and forging a network of young people dedicated to combatting corruption in their own countries and around the world.

The proposal for an IACC, similar to but separate from the International Criminal Court, has generated substantial support,  including from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Judge Sergio Moro of Brazil, 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 such as Justice Goldstone, Luis Moreno Ocampo of Argentina, and Jose Ugaz of Peru. The proposal is also supported by courageous young people from many countries, including leaders of the Maidan uprising in Ukraine.  In April 2017, President Juan Manuel Santos, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016, made Colombia the first country to endorse the IACC.

While continuing to advocate for the IACC, III has increasingly focused on related measures. 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, with partners, now supporting the government of Peru in its planning of the 2018 Summit of the Americas, which will focus on Transparency and Accountability, and its Foreign Minister, who has proposed the creation of a regional anti-corruption court. III is assisting officials in Ukraine in their effort to create a special national anti-corruption court. III is also collaborating with faculty of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government to create an unprecedented program on Corruption and Human Rights.  In addition, III will have a leading role in the November 2017 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference.

III is now developing with partners a series of additional events to advance its mission.  These include: a meeting in Brussels of young people interested in promoting the proposed IACC and related measures for the prosecution of kleptocrats; a program in Geneva to enhance collaboration between leaders of the human rights and anti-corruption movements; a program in the Hague on strengthening international criminal courts; and a program on the IACC at the 2018 International Bar Association meeting in Rome.

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