United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

28 January 1997


Fifty-first session
Agenda item 101


               [on the report of the Third Committee (A/51/610)]

            51/59.      Action against corruption

      The General Assembly,

      Concerned at the seriousness of problems posed by corruption,
which may endanger the stability and security of societies, undermine
the values of democracy and morality and jeopardize social, economic
and political development,

      Also concerned about the links between corruption and other forms
of crime, in particular organized crime and economic crime, including

      Convinced that, since corruption is a phenomenon that currently
crosses national borders and affects all societies and economies,
international cooperation to prevent and control it is essential,

      Convinced also of the need to provide, upon request, technical
assistance designed to improve public management systems and to
enhance accountability and transparency,

      Recalling the Inter-American Convention against Corruption,
1/adopted by the Organization of American States at the Specialized
Conference for Consideration of the Draft Inter-American Convention
against Corruption, held at Caracas from 27 to 29 March 1996,

      Recalling also its resolutions 45/121 of 14 December 1990 and
46/152 of 18 December 1991, and Economic and Social Council
resolutions 1992/22 of 30 July 1992, 1993/32 of 27 July 1993 and
1994/19 of 25 July 1994,

      Recalling in particular its resolution 50/225 of 19 April 1996,
adopted at its resumed session, on public administration and

      Recalling Economic and Social Council resolution 1995/14 of
24 July 1995 on action against corruption,

      Recalling also the work carried out by other international and
regional organizations in this field, including the activities of the
Council of Europe, the European Union, the Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Development and the Organization of American States,

      1.    Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General on action
against corruption 2/ submitted to the Commission on Crime
Prevention and Criminal Justice at its fifth session;

      2.    Adopts the International Code of Conduct for Public
Officials annexed to the present resolution, and recommends it to
Member States as a tool to guide their efforts against corruption;

      3.    Requests the Secretary-General to distribute the
International Code of Conduct to all States and to include it in the
manual on practical measures against corruption, 3/ to be revised
and expanded pursuant to Economic and Social Council resolution
1995/14, with a view to offering both those tools to States in the
context of advisory services, training and other technical assistance

      4.    Also requests the Secretary-General to continue to collect
information and legislative and regulatory texts from States and
relevant intergovernmental organizations, in the context of his
continuing study of the problem of corruption;

      5.    Further requests the Secretary-General, in consultation with
States, relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations,
as well as in cooperation with the institutes comprising the United
Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme network, to
elaborate an implementation plan and submit it to the Commission on
Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice at its sixth session, in
conjunction with his report to be submitted pursuant to Economic and
Social Council resolution 1995/14;

      6.    Urges States, relevant intergovernmental and
non-governmental organizations, as well as the institutes comprising
the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme
network, to extend to the Secretary-General their full support in
elaborating the implementation plan and in implementing paragraph 4

      7.    Urges Member States carefully to consider the problems posed
by the international aspects of corrupt practices, especially as
regards international economic activities carried out by corporate
entities, and to study appropriate legislative and regulatory measures
to ensure the transparency and integrity of financial systems and
transactions carried out by such corporate entities;

      8.    Requests the Secretary-General to intensify his efforts to
closely cooperate with other entities of the United Nations system and
other relevant international organizations and to more effectively
coordinate activities undertaken in this area;

      9.    Also requests the Secretary-General, subject to the
availability of extrabudgetary resources, to provide increased
advisory services and technical assistance to Member States, at their
request, in particular in the elaboration of national strategies, the
elaboration or improvement of legislative and regulatory measures, the
establishment or strengthening of national capacities to prevent and
control corruption, as well as in training and upgrading skills of
relevant personnel;

      10.   Calls upon States, relevant international organizations and
financing institutions to extend to the Secretary-General their full
support and assistance in the implementation of the present

      11.   Requests the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal
Justice to keep the issue of action against corruption under regular

                                                          82nd plenary meeting
                                                              12 December 1996


              International Code of Conduct for Public Officials

                            I.  GENERAL PRINCIPLES

1.    A public office, as defined by national law, is a position of
trust, implying a duty to act in the public interest.  Therefore, the
ultimate loyalty of public officials shall be to the public interests
of their country as expressed through the democratic institutions of

2.    Public officials shall ensure that they perform their duties and
functions efficiently, effectively and with integrity, in accordance
with laws or administrative policies.  They shall at all times seek to
ensure that public resources for which they are responsible are
administered in the most effective and efficient manner.

3.    Public officials shall be attentive, fair and impartial in the
performance of their functions and, in particular, in their relations
with the public.  They shall at no time afford any undue preferential
treatment to any group or individual or improperly discriminate
against any group or individual, or otherwise abuse the power and
authority vested in them.


4.    Public officials shall not use their official authority for the
improper advancement of their own or their family's personal or
financial interest.  They shall not engage in any transaction, acquire
any position or function or have any financial, commercial or other
comparable interest that is incompatible with their office, functions
and duties or the discharge thereof.

5.    Public officials, to the extent required by their position,
shall, in accordance with laws or administrative policies, declare
business, commercial and financial interests or activities undertaken
for financial gain that may raise a possible conflict of interest.  In
situations of possible or perceived conflict of interest between the
duties and private interests of public officials, they shall comply
with the measures established to reduce or eliminate such conflict of

6.    Public officials shall at no time improperly use public moneys,
property, services or information that is acquired in the performance
of, or as a result of, their official duties for activities not
related to their official work.

7.    Public officials shall comply with measures established by law or
by administrative policies in order that after leaving their official
positions they will not take improper advantage of their previous

                          III.  DISCLOSURE OF ASSETS

8.    Public officials shall, in accord with their position and as
permitted or required by law and administrative policies, comply with
requirements to declare or to disclose personal assets and
liabilities, as well as, if possible, those of their spouses and/or


9.    Public officials shall not solicit or receive directly or
indirectly any gift or other favour that may influence the exercise of
their functions, the performance of their duties or their judgement.

                         V.  CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

10.   Matters of a confidential nature in the possession of public
officials shall be kept confidential unless national legislation, the
performance of duty or the needs of justice strictly require
otherwise.  Such restrictions shall also apply after separation from

                            VI.  POLITICAL ACTIVITY

11.   The political or other activity of public officials outside the
scope of their office shall, in accordance with laws and
administrative policies, not be such as to impair public confidence in
the impartial performance of their functions and duties.


1/    See E/1996/99.

2/    E/CN.15/1996/5.

3/    International Review of Criminal Policy, Nos. 41 and 42 (United
Nations publication, Sales No. E.93.IV.4).


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Date last posted: 10 January 2000 10:55:20
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