Introducing the Missing 11th Principle of the United Nations Global Compact to Reach Sustainability: Follow the Money…

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Purpose: Recent research has emphasized the need for engaging non-financial companies in combating money laundering for the efforts to be efficient and effective. To incentivize engagement, several options are available, such as regulation, voluntary disclosure or commitment to international principles such as the United Nations (UN) Global Compact. The purpose of this paper is to analyze how anti-money laundering fits the aim of the UN Global compact and how anti-money laundering can support the other principles of the UN Global Compact. Furthermore, this paper addresses the necessity to include anti-money laundering in the core principles to reach the overall goal of sustainability by the UN Global Compact. Such an inclusion will incentivize the signatories of the UN Global Compact to include anti-money laundering as a part of their social responsibilities, helping the financial sector in combating money laundering.
Design/methodology/approach: The methodology of this paper is a functional approach to law and economics. It seeks to enhance the efficiency of the regulatory framework combating money laundering by including economic incentive theory and addressing new areas of law.
Findings: The paper finds a strong relationship between the UN Global Compact and anti-money laundering. Furthermore, it is concluded that it is necessary to include anti-money laundering as a core principle in the UN Global Compact if the Global Compact is to be efficient and effective in terms of its sustainability goals. The reason being that money laundering to a great extent supplies operational finances to the illegitimate sector related to core issues of the UN Global Compact such as human trafficking, child labor and corruption.
Originality/value: The paper identifies a significant missing element with regard to the core principles of the UN Global Compact. Although most research within anti-money laundering concerns the financial sector and thereby does not address the UN Global Compact, the focus of this paper is the link between anti-money laundering and the UN Global Compact. Furthermore, most research related to the UN global compact does not connect the core principles to the illegal financing of the businesses contradicting the principles. This paper addresses both of the neglected areas and combines them to improve the overall combating of money laundering while supporting the UN Global Compact sustainability goal.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Money Laundering Control
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)355-367
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Published online: 23 March 2020.


  • Sustainability
  • CSR
  • UN Global Compact
  • Anti-money laundering
  • Legitimate economy

Cite this