Director General/Executive Director UNOV/UNODC
Closing Statement of Mr. Yury Fedotov, UNODC Executive Director, at the 4 th Session of the Conference of State Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, Delivered by John Sandage, Director, Division of Treaty Affairs, UNODC
28 October, Marrakech
I wish to express my sincere thanks to His Royal Highness King Mohammed VI and to the Kingdom and People of Morocco for holding this conference here in Marrakech.
I also wish to thank the President of the Conference, Minister Mohammed Saad El Alami, for his diligence and commitment to the United Nations Convention against Corruption and for his leadership throughout this past week.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Two years ago, in Doha, we embarked on a difficult journey. We agreed to maximise the efforts of State Parties to fight corruption by introducing a peer review mechanism under the UNCAC.
I am glad to say that, here in Marrakech, we have consolidated the decisions of Doha and, in doing so, continued to build a firm foundation for the future.
One of the successes stemming from that decision has been to make clear where technical assistance is needed, and to highlight gaps in the implementation process.
As a result, we are now concentrating on projects and programmes that address these needs at the national, regional and international levels.
We have taken further steps at the Fourth COSP to build on Doha. In that respect, I welcome the adoption of "the Marrakech Declaration on the Prevention of Corruption" which recognizes the urgent need for Member States to share experiences and best practices in preventing corruption before it takes root.
The holding of twenty side events on the margins of the Conference is an undeniable sign that the Conference has established itself as the main event of the anti-corruption movement.
Yet, perhaps the defining feature of our journey from Doha to Marrakech has been the realisation that we cannot succeed in isolation. Others must join us, and we must all walk together if we are to combat corruption wherever it arises.
The Conference has resolved the complex question of observer participation, and we have taken steps towards ensuring that civil society can begin to effectively and appropriately contribute to the maximization of the benefits to be derived from the review mechanism. I expect we will return to this issue again as we come to have more confidence in the process of review.
The reality is that we need governments, the private sector, parliamentarians, anti-corruption authorities, civil society organizations, young people and the media to cooperate in rejecting corruption at every level of society.
I urge all Member States to work to find ways to achieve this goal. In doing so, I offer the simple image of the elegant logo of this Conference. The edifice at its centre symbolizes the inviting shelter that the UNCAC represents. It is a shelter for all. But we must make sure it remains robust and protects us all, a recognition that we must act in partnership with all.
And, in Marrakech, we have gained a far greater understanding of the consequences if we fail.
We have heard, for example, how corruption imperils the Millennium Development Goals, undermines the delivery of public services, and facilitates other crimes. We have heard clearly about the need for sectoral responses that are tailor made.
These are powerful reasons for us to continue to strengthen the UNCAC, and I once again urge every Member State to join the Convention. One hundred fifty five countries is a good start. But we want the other thirty eight members of the UN to be present as Member States is Panama City two years from now.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I opened this Conference by speaking of the Arab Spring. Let me return to it in my closing remarks.
The Arab Spring has sparked rapid reforms and placed anti-corruption at the heart of the democratic agenda.
As a result, it has become a symbol for the anti-corruption movement and we must heed the call it has issued.
We must help individuals live in countries where prosecutions of instances of corruption are fair and where a citizen's daily interaction with the state and commerce are firmly anchored in professionalism, honesty and integrity.
And we must provide strong political commitment at the international level. The Arab Spring, with its emphatic rejection of corruption, must last longer than only a single season. We ignore its lessons at our peril.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I thank you for your hard work and dedication over this very busy week. I look forward to welcoming you all to Panama City for the fifth session in 2013. And I warmly congratulate the Russian Federation on its successful bid to host this Conference in 2015.
Thank you all, travel safely, and see you soon.