Director General/Executive Director
Remarks of the Executive Director at the Side Event Rule of Law "Corruption: Economic Growth and Rule of Law
24 September 2012
Your Excellencies, Heads of State, Heads of Government, Ministers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for inviting me to this important meeting on "Corruption: Economic Growth and Rule of Law".
Anti-corruption is at the core of UNODC's mandate, and we have had some experience in building the international tools to combat this crime.
Corruption undermines the rule of law by eroding democratic institutions that are the basis for fair and equitable societies.
For these reasons, it is essential that governments and their partners take drastic measures to prevent and combat corruption.
Without these measures, there can be no equity, no inclusivity, no fairness and no lasting social and economic development.
Businesses thrive where laws are defined clearly and applied all-inclusively. But, it can languish, or fail, where the level playing field becomes the uphill struggle of unfair competition.
Bribery and corruption circumvents fair tendering processes. As a consequence, funding meant for hospitals and schools can be diverted into the hands of corrupt individuals.
The failure to win contracts can send businesses to the wall; creating unemployment and further straining weak and fragile societies.
Working together, governments and the b usiness community can create the integrity infrastructure needed to exploit resources in a sustainable manner, promote employment and attract investments.
The blueprint for this work is the UN Convention against Corruption.
The Convention requires States Parties to take a series of measures that together lay the foundations for free and fair markets and sustainable economic development.
The UNCAC Implementation Review Mechanism enables States to assess their implementation of the Convention and assist with their efforts to combat corruption and promote the rule of law.
Since its inception, 157 States have now participated in the review process either as the subject or the reviewing State.
Information generated by the Implementation Review Mechanism is leading the identification of good practices and lessons learned.
It is creating forward momentum among nations for transparency and good governance that will assist the rule of law and development.
The Review Mechanism can become a model for further efforts by States Parties to adopt peer-review processes in the fields of criminal justice and the rule of law.
This is currently being considered in relation to the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime.
UNODC is working with the private sector to assist them in adopting anti-corruption policies aligned to the Convention, which strengthens transparency, and accountability.
UNODC is also addressing the issue of corruption in the context of major public events such as the Olympics.
After all, if we expect our athletes to be above criticism, let us apply the same integrity principles to all those involved in organizing these great sporting occasions.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Where corruption exists, the rule of law cannot flourish.
UNODC's role is to encourage the full implementation of UNCAC, and through the peer-review mechanism, ensure States have the right tools to eradicate corruption.
But, we need to go further. Too many people fail to understand the impact of corruption on development and on prosperity.
The victims exist in every developing and less developed country. Denied education, denied healthcare, denied opportunities.
Together, let us ensure that they are the last victims of corruption.