PRESS RELEASE

Private sector invited to help fight corruption through new UN initiative

Launch of the Integrity Initial Public Offering (IPO) during 21st session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Vienna

VIENNA, 24 April (UN Information Service) - A new initiative to involve the private sector in tackling corruption is being launched at the Crime Commission in Vienna this week. The Integrity Initial Public Offering (IPO) offers businesses the chance to help developing countries tackle corruption and strengthen their ability to fight it. Corruption is a major hindrance to sustainable development and adds up to ten per cent to the costs of doing business in some parts of the world.

Under the IPO companies and investors can contribute financially to supporting developing countries in their efforts to develop anti-corruption legislation and institutions and promote integrity. The Corruption and Economic Crime Branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in partnership with other relevant organizations notably the World Economic Forum, is initiating the IPO as a way for the private sector to show their commitment to tackling corruption and become 'integrity leaders'.

The initiative is being launched during the 21st session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ), which is taking place in Vienna from 23 - 27 April 2012.

At an event on the sidelines of the Crime Commission the Executive Director of UNODC, Yury Fedotov said: "Corruption has a disproportionate impact on poor communities and a corrosive effect on the fabric of societies across the globe. It is vital that we encourage business to play their part in the fight against corruption and take action to promote integrity. I urge business leaders and investors to buy a share in a better tomorrow by joining the Integrity Initial Public Offering (IPO) and show their resolve to help create a fair and level playing field for everyone in business."

The impact of corruption on the private sector is significant - corruption impedes economic growth, distorts competition and present serious legal and reputational risks. It is also costly for business, with corruption adding an estimated ten per cent to the costs of doing business in many parts of the world and as much as 25 per cent to the costs of public procurement.

The Integrity IPO is grounded in the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) which is the world's only universal anti-corruption legal instrument. The ability of the Convention to address wrongdoing in both the public and private sectors is one of its distinctive features. Through the IPO, UNODC plans to improve anti-corruption legislation and regulatory frameworks; strengthen action plans for anti-corruption programmes; provide better training to government staff to effectively implement policies and have more transparent, fair and accountable public procurement systems.

For further information on the Commission go to: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/commissions/CCPCJ/session/21.html

For further information please contact:

David Dadge
Spokesperson, UNODC
Telephone: (+43 1) 26060-5629
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5629
Email: david.dadge[at]unvienna.org

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