Atlanta (USA), 11 December – “Corruption not only robs resources, it robs people of hope,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres in his video message at the tenth Session of the Conference of States Parties (CoSP). “I call on all Parties to use this opportunity to strengthen international cooperation to prevent, detect, and prosecute corruption – in partnership with civil society and the private sector.”
CoSP – the largest biannual anti-corruption conference in the world – opened today in Atlanta, the United States of America, to celebrate 20 years of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and take stock of global anti-corruption efforts.
“The UNCAC has been a monumental achievement as a global anti-corruption framework,” said UNODC Executive Director Ms. Ghada Waly in her opening remarks. “The Convention has become a universal standard and tool that has been the basis for transformative legal and institutional reforms in many countries, as well as international cooperation, supported by UNODC.”
Ms. Waly added that the CoSP is an opportunity to reflect on the progress made thus far and the journey that lies ahead: "As we celebrate how far we have come, we must also accept that despite commendable efforts, there is still much work to be done.”
Since its adoption, the Convention has reached near-universal adherence with 190 States Parties, a testament to the unwavering commitment of the international community to end corruption and its damaging impact on peace, justice and sustainable development.
“The fight against corruption is everyone’s fight,” said Ms. Waly. “Let us reach out across borders and sectors, across generations and institutions, to speak out with one voice, united against corruption.”
The tenth session of the CoSP is bringing together over 2,000 participants from governments and regional and international organizations as well as anti-corruption experts and representatives of the private, sector, civil society, and youth. They will review progress made in implementing the Convention, as well as discuss national and international challenges, and identify gaps in UNCAC implementation.
Participants will delve into a variety of topics, including safeguarding climate responses from corruption, empowering women and girls in anti-corruption responses, promoting the role of civil society in identifying implementation gaps, and harnessing the power of the young changemakers and integrity leaders of the future.
For the first time, a Private Sector Forum, co-organized by UNODC and the UN Global Compact, will bring together private sector representatives, including business leaders, chief compliance and legal officers, as well as stakeholders from the public sector, civil society, academia and international organizations.
Building on the progress achieved over the last two decades, States parties are also looking to reaffirm the pivotal role of the Convention as an instrument to drive forward progress towards Agenda 2030 and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The special session of the UN General Assembly against Corruption in 2021 underlined the need to incorporate anti-corruption efforts within the broader sustainable development agenda. Earlier this year, at the SDG Summit, world leaders took another decisive step forward by adopting a declaration calling for accelerated action towards achieving the Global Goals, including through the effective implementation of the Convention’s obligations to prevent and combat corruption.
Thirteen draft resolutions and two draft decisions will be considered over the course of the week, addressing issues such as measurement of corruption, whistle-blower protection, beneficial ownership transparency, and public procurement, among others.