Director General/Executive Director
Remarks at the Crime Commission Side Event Buying a Share in a Better Tomorrow
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to this event titled, "buying a share in a better tomorrow: a Briefing on the Integrity Initial Public Offering".
This is an initiative of UNODC, in partnership with other organizations, notably the World Economic Forum.
The IPO offers the opportunity for companies to fund anti-corruption initiatives that will help develop a level playing field for everyone in business.
Corruption is one of the key challenges we face in our increasingly connected world.
It is estimated that between US$20 to US$40 billion are lost in developing countries due to corruption.
Each year, sums that should have addressed problems in education, health and other services find their way into the hands of corrupt individuals.
As a consequence, economic development is undermined and low standards of living perpetuated.
However, the private sector also has much to lose from corruption. But it also has the strength to fight and to prevent it.
The Secretary-General has stressed the importance of encouraging the private sector to support our work.
Indeed, with its reach, and support for communities, the private sector has the ability to be the catalyst for truly transformational change.
As the guardian of the UN Convention Against Corruption, UNODC recognizes that the Private Sector can help strengthen the international anti-corruption framework.
The role of the private sector has also been reinforced by the Third Session of the Conference of the State parties to UNCAC, which adopted a resolution to develop and promote coordination between the public and private sectors.
During the Fourth Session in 2011, the Conference adopted the "Marrakech Declaration on Prevention of Corruption," which stated it is the responsibility of states to promote the business community's engagement in the prevention of corruption.
UNODC is engaging with the business community on how they can join with public institutions, and international and intergovernmental organizations, to "invest" in public anti-corruption activities.
Today, using the language of business to encourage the participation of business, we are launching the "the Integrity IPO".
As with any other IPO issued in the private sphere, UNODC is looking for investors ready to buy a stake in promoting integrity through the implementation of the Convention.
We are looking for the integrity leaders of the corporate world to come forward, and in doing so, buy a share in a better tomorrow.
UNODC hopes that companies are willing to invest USD2 million each over the next four to five years.
The capital will be used to respond to needs for technical assistance in developing countries that are identified through the UNCAC Implementation Review Mechanism.
UNODC, in partnership with organizations such as the World Economic Forum, will tailor assistance to individual countries to strengthen their anti-corruption infrastructure.
The Integrity IPO can also bring direct benefits to the private sector through the creation of a more level playing field when companies compete for business.
It also brings added value to the companies as they become associated through the offering with the global fight against corruption.
UNODC has already presented, unofficially, the idea of the Integrity IPO to the business community at this year's meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Tomorrow, we will send letters to major companies to invite them to participate in a conference call to be organized together with the World Economic Forum.
During this call, we will explain the concept further to interested CEO's.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Integrity IPO offers an excellent opportunity to develop best practices under the Convention by investing in areas of the world that need our assistance.
However, at the same time it is helping to achieve competitive, but fair markets for the private sector to do business.
These are not lofty conceptions, the Integrity IPO is an opportunity to bring real change that benefits societies, government and business.