Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
Welcome to this special event on tackling corruption as an enabler of wildlife, forest, and fisheries crime.
The 2020 World Wildlife Crime Report from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime highlights the role of corruption at every stage of trafficking.
For instance, bribes can make up 10 percent of the final wholesale value of ivory in Asia. False documentation is used to “launder” species caught in the wild. Fraudulently acquired permits bring illegal wildlife products to market.
The illegal exploitation of forests, wildlife and marine resources leaves local communities poorer, destroys biodiversity and threatens our climate, our security and our health.
As the guardian of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the UN Convention against Corruption, UNODC offers integrated support to Member States to address these challenges.
Through our global programmes and field office network, we assist wildlife, forest and fisheries authorities to identify and mitigate corruption risks.
We build investigation capacity and promote inter-agency coordination, including between financial investigation units and prosecutors.
Our Office also supports countries with research to inform policy making, identify gaps in legislation and pinpoint the vulnerabilities of legal markets to infiltration by organized crime groups.
2021 is shaping up to be a milestone year for anti-corruption action. The world will come together at the first-ever General Assembly Special Session against corruption in June, and again at the ninth Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption in Sharm El-Sheikh in December.
As countries mobilize to recover with integrity from the COVID-19 crisis, let’s seize the opportunity to disrupt the corrupt networks that profit from, and perpetuate, wildlife, forest and fisheries crime. UNODC is here to support you so that we can protect people and planet, and deliver on the 2030 Agenda. Thank you.