Speech at an event held by Russia's Chamber of Commerce and Industry stresses anti-corruption efforts are good for business, good for shareholders and good for employees.
Moscow/Vienna, 26 March 2015 - Delivering a keynote speech in Moscow today, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov called on businesses to partner with the public sector, and to recognize that everyone has a common responsibility against corruption. Success against corruption was only possible, he said, if governments, business, civil society and the public decided to be part of the solution and not the problem.
"Corruption remains a pervasive, pernicious threat across the globe. It undermines the rule of law, represents a major hindrance to sustainable development, and corrodes the moral fabric of society…Corruption is furthermore bad for business. It stifles growth, distorts competition and undermines investor confidence," said Mr. Fedotov.
The UNODC head pointed out that the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which entered into force in 2005, was an internationally agreed instrument designed to confront and end corruption. The Convention, Mr. Fedotov said, calls for state parties to "…foster relationships with the private sector and to institutionalize cooperation, in order to avoid cross-jurisdictional or other conflicts enterprises may face, related, for example to privacy, confidentiality or bank secrecy rules."
At the last Conference of the State Parties to UNCAC in Panama, in 2013, countries agreed to raise awareness in the private sector of the need for anti-corruption ethics and compliance activities. There was also agreement on engaging the business community in corruption prevention and increasing the dialogue on anti-corruption efforts between the public and private sector.
Mr. Fedotov reinforced his message during a press conference when he called on public and private sector leaders to reinforce credibility and trust at every level of society. "Rejection of corruption cannot be achieved from without. It must be nurtured within. This can only happen when both the private and public sector embrace cultures of transparency, good governance and openness," said Mr. Fedotov.
Anti-corruption efforts will form a major part of the discussion at the forthcoming 13th Crime Congress in Doha from 12-19 April. The next meeting of state parties to UNCAC will also take place this year in St. Petersburg from 2-6 November.
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