Side events

Side events are meetings, presentations or panel discussions on topics that are relevant to the work of the special session of the United Nations General Assembly and that are held outside the formal proceedings. Whilst the organization of these meetings is coordinated and facilitated by the Secretariat, the sole responsibility for the content of the side events (including promotional material and the events themselves) as well as for the related technical arrangements lies with the organizers. Please note that some side events might require pre-registration. Kindly reach out to the indicated email address with any question on the side event.

These events are open to registered participants of the special session. The organizations of the United Nations system are committed to enabling events at which everyone can participate in an inclusive, respectful and safe environment. Events facilitated by the UN system are guided by the highest ethical and professional standards, and all participants are expected to behave with integrity and respect towards all participants attending or involved with the event as provided by the Code of Conduct.

All times below are New York time (Eastern Daylight Time).


Friday, 4 June - 9.00 to 10.00

Leading on anti-corruption: the G20, its goals and key achievements

Organizer: G20 Italy ACWG; co-organizer: UNODC

The side event addressed the anti-corruption achievements of the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group (ACWG) over the past years: high-level principles, guidelines, compendia of best practices and other outcomes and resources adopted so far. It highlighted the new website by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as a global tool to share anti-corruption knowledge and raise the visibility of the G20 ACWG outcomes and awareness of the concrete and practical outputs. The aim of the event was to showcase that the G20 ACWG is a prime forum to shape anti-corruption policies at the global level, in close collaboration with international organizations, and how the Group contributes to the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the UNGASS momentum.

Global Law Enforcement Response to Corruption during COVID-19

Organizer: OECD, DAF/ACD; co-organizer: United States Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL)

Building on the OECD/ACD “Global Law Enforcement Response to Corruption in Crisis Situations” Project launched in September 2020, the event took stock of the enforcement efforts and approaches used by law enforcement officials in preventing and combatting corruption related to the COVID-19 pandemic and other crisis situations. While the OECD/ACD Project is a global initiative, panellists reflected on enforcement efforts and emerging case typologies identified within their respective regions: Africa, Asia Pacific, Eastern and Central Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Panellists also reflected on the importance of inter-agency cooperation and international cooperation, and described activities of the regional Law Enforcement Networks (LENs).

Leveraging the Best Tools to Address Environmental Crime Enabled by Corruption

Organizer: France

Corruption is a key enabler of environmental crime and it is essential to address this nexus to combat both. Through this side event, light will be shed on the problem of environmental crime enabled by corruption (wildlife trafficking, illegal logging, illegal mining, and waste trafficking) and on useful tools and approaches to address it, including those provided for under UNCAC. It aims to generate stronger efforts and partnerships in combating the problem.

Modern Slavery and Corruption: Examining the Links and Addressing the Challenges

Organizer: Liechtenstein

The link between corruption and modern slavery has received little attention, even as a growing body of evidence suggests it can play a determinant role as both an enabler and root cause of modern slavery schemes across regions. This moderated panel discussion on how corruption facilitates the exploitation of some of the world’s most vulnerable populations to modern slavery aims to not only raise awareness about the links between corruption and modern slavery, but also to address the challenges and measures that can be taken to prevent and combat corruption and strengthen international cooperation in this regard.

Friday, 4 June - 13.00 to 14.00

Anti-Corruption Education and Research for Sustainable Development

Organizer: IACA; co-organizers: Austria, UNODC

Effective anti-corruption efforts must go beyond legal and institutional approaches and seek to transform societal attitudes and practices. Education is a crucial instrument for promoting a culture of integrity and resilience to corruption. This event will discuss the role of education and research to fight corruption, strengthen the rule of law and achieve the SDGs.

Strengthening Whistleblower protection mechanisms in Africa: the role of parliamentarians in fast-tracking the adoption of legislative and policy interventions to protect Whistleblowers

Organizer: UNODC Regional Office for East Africa

Lack of an effective whistle-blower protection mechanism framework is one of the challenges of combating corruption and this event addresses how African legislators can promote the adoption, review and /or implementation of whistle-blower protection laws and policies. The event will:

  • Encourage other members of African countries’ Legislatures to adopt whistle-blower protection laws by sharing experience and best-practice approaches. As of 2017, only 7 out of the 54 African countries have whistleblower protection laws.
  • Gain inspiration from participants from countries that have implemented whistleblower protection laws who can provide insights on some of the challenges that countries developing such laws may face.
  • Strengthen capacity and cooperation between members of different legislatures in Africa.

Civil Society engagement in UNCAC and future steps

Organizer: UNODC; co-organizer: UNCAC Coalition

The event will demonstrate how civil society contributes to the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), specifically how CSOs engage with States Parties in the process of the Implementation Review Mechanism to increase transparency, accountability and subsequent action on the findings from the country reports

Friday, 4 June - 14.00 to 15.00

Synergizing SDG 16.10 and UNCAC to fight corruption

Organizer: ARTICLE 19

The panel will highlight synergies between UNCAC and SDG 16.10, examining public access to information as an enabler for prevention and enforcement and how the ability of journalists and anti-corruption organisations to effectively operate improves implementation of UNCAC and the SDGs.

Abuse of charities and Non-profit organizations for corruption

Organizer: Republic of Azerbaijan

The event will bring together prominent experts on the topic who will elaborate on how non-profit organizations are abused for the purposes of corruption and money laundering.

Friday, 4 June - 17.00 to 18.00

Tracing Money behind Online Political Communication

Organizer: International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance

All over the world, spending on online political advertisements is increasing, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic as social distancing protocols disrupt in-person and print media campaign strategies. Despite the growing expenditure by political actors on online campaigns, its regulation is almost non-existent. Such lack of regulation has the potential to further pronounce the problem of corruption, lack of transparency of campaign expenditure and negative influence of money in politics. The event took a form of panel discussion between representatives from International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) and Transparency International. It highlighted the challenges of regulating online campaign finance, identified key regulatory issues that require immediate attention of policy makers and oversight agencies, and explored opportunities for inter-agency and international cooperation.