Director General/Executive Director
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to thank the G20, the B20 and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development for this initiative, which has also been fully supported by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime since its inception.
Corruption has long been a concern of the G20 countries, and thanks to their involvement, it is now high on the agenda of the B20.
Involving business in the fight against corruption is an absolute priority.
Working together, we need to change the present narrative.
Until now, businesses have focused on key areas such as compliance, supply chain management, and risk management to disrupt corruption.
Now it is time to send a clear message to businesses everywhere why anti-corruption practices are good for business, good for shareholders and good for employees.
We need to move towards populating the ranks of integrity leaders who step forward and invest in the public anti-corruption infrastructure of the countries in which they do business.
This would bring us closer to a fair and level playing field for all.
Corruption creates worried investors and capital flight, but by working against it, governments can actively encourage inward investment.
UNODC's goal is to encourage a new generation of anti-corruption champions to come forward from the ranks of international business to lead the way against corruption.
The foundation for this work is the UN Convention against Corruption.
With 165 countries ratifying the Convention we are approaching its universal acceptance. But ratification of the Convention has never been enough.
True success against corruption can only come if the provisions of the Convention are fully implemented in all countries.
Soon we will be entering the fourth year of the successful operation of the Mechanism for the Review of Implementation of UNCAC.
The Review Mechanism is not only giving us a detailed picture of corruption on the ground. But also spurring reforms and fostering cooperation, including in law enforcement, nationally, regionally and globally.
This year, at the 5 th Session of the Conference of the State Parties to the UNCAC, to be held in Panama in November, we will introduce a report highlighting the many successes of the Review Mechanism.
Within the framework of the Convention, we are working on a number of vital issues, including one that relates to major public events, such as the World Cup or the Olympics.
In cycling, in swimming, in football, we do everything possible to ensure fairness in competition.
Business also requires many of the same approaches. After all, the football field can be compared to the level playing field of business.
We must try to replicate the intense, but fair, competition that occurs on the sporting field, in all the processes and programmes that happen off the field.
Just as we have confidence in the fairness of athletic endeavour, we must also have confidence in those who deliver every aspect of these great sporting events.
These events involve significant resources, huge amounts of funds and complex logistical arrangements; all delivered within tight timeframes.
Even where well-established regulatory systems exist, major events create new opportunities for corruption.
To avoid this outcome, targeted action is needed to identify, assess and manage additional risks.
As part of this approach, UNODC will shortly publish a report on good prevention and risk management practices in the context of major events.
The report will cover: financial management and control; procurement; infrastructure and construction; security infrastructure; the involvement of the private sector; detection of corruption; and law enforcement interventions. Among others.
A detailed "checklist" will also accompany the report to assist major event organizers in reviewing their ability to prevent, detect and respond to corruption.
UNODC has worked closely with experts from governments, the private sector, international sports associations, intergovernmental organizations and civil society to ensure the widest possible range of expertise.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are making advances against corruption in all its many forms. But, continued success will require a global team effort.
And, we need business on our side, together with Member States, civil society and the media.
I hope you will join with UNODC and its partners to help safeguard not just the world's sporting competitions, but also the level playing field of business.