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4 Feb, 2014

Int’l Road Transport Union joins with UN to fight corruption, extortion on global highways


New York, 4 February 2014 – The International Road Transport Union (IRU) and UN Global Compact officially launched the Global Anti-Corruption Initiative today to combine efforts in fighting extortion and corruption along major road transport corridors and secure the sustainable development of global supply chains to the benefit of economies worldwide.

Currently, transport operators suffer from lengthy non-harmonised administrative procedures and overregulation, which create an environment conducive to corruption or other illicit activities on roads. Recent IRU figures show that drivers spend up to 57% of time en-route queuing at borders in some regions, with up to 1/3 of freight costs going towards illicit payments across Eurasia.

Corruption and illicit practices in road transport are harmful to international trade and the development of national and global economies. They increase legal and operational uncertainty, and add additional costs to the entire logistics chain and end product. In fact, as much as USD 1.6 trillion is lost globally each year according to estimates from the World Bank. While corruption is mostly found in emerging economies, corrupt practices also exist in industrialised ones. With major negative economic and political consequences, fighting corruption has become one of the priority issues for governments and international organisations.

The Initiative will collect information on cases of corruption along major international trade routes on 5 continents. An online questionnaire completed by road transport companies and truck drivers will help identify the areas of business and administrative activities, as well as geographic locations, that are most vulnerable to extortion and bribery. Results will be compiled into a final report providing specific recommendations to combat such corruption.

UN Global Compact Executive Director, Georg Kell, said, “We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the IRU to fight corruption through this initiative. This can go a long way to eliminating extortion, which remains a major barrier to sustainable development throughout the supply chain.”

The report will be presented to the Global Compact 10th Principle Advisory Group in December 2014 on International Anti-Corruption Day. It will also be presented to governments of participating states and leading global international groups, including G8, G20 and Davos Forum, to draw attention to the negative impact of corruption on road transport and stop this economic impediment.

Igor Runov, IRU Under Secretary General heading the IRU Permanent Delegation to the UN, concluded, “The road transport industry is committed to working together with the UN Global Compact and governments to address corruption. The practical results of this initiative will benefit international road transport operators and economies all around the world.”

  • Have you experienced illicit practices related to road transport? Please share via online questionnaire