Madrid, 23 August 2013 – NGOs today urged parties to the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) to take action to promote adoption of access to information laws and to increase the availability of information on beneficial ownership of private companies.

A letter sent today to members of the UNCAC Working Group on Prevention, by Access Info Europe and Global Financial Integrity together with the civil society UNCAC Coalition, urged priority action on transparency measures essential in the fight against corruption.

Access to information is vital for civil society organisations and members of the public to be able to fulfil their role of participating in anti-corruption efforts,” the letter states. “Greater transparency of beneficial ownership is critical for reducing the ability of corrupt officials to launder and use their ill-gotten gains in the global economy, which would reduce the appeal of engaging in large-scale corruption.

The members of UNCAC Working Group on Prevention will meet in Vienna from 26-28 August as part of preparations for negotiations to take place at the full Conference of the 156 States Parties to the Convention (COSP) to be held in Panama in November 2013.

Effective prevention of corruption must include strong transparency mechanisms, high standard access to information laws, and increased information about company ownership,” stated Lydia Medland, UNCAC Europe Regional coordinator.

UNCAC Coalition letter to Working Group on Prevention membersfile_pdf