Ghada Waly

Director-General/Executive Director

 

Closing of the Ninth Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption

  17 December 2021

Mr. President,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Congratulations on a successful ninth session of the Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption.

This session of the CoSP has been exceptional in the circumstances surrounding it, and in the promise that its outcomes hold.

More than one hundred and fifty countries came together virtually and in-person, with over two thousand and one hundred people participating, to affirm that fighting corruption matters, especially in these challenging times, and to find ways to advance this fight together.

States Parties reached consensus on eight resolutions to guide international efforts against corruption for the coming years.  

The Sharm el-Sheikh declaration on fighting corruption in times of crisis will inform our recovery from the pandemic with integrity, and will help countries be ready for the emergencies of tomorrow.

Other resolutions address key issues such as beneficial ownership in asset recovery, regional and international cooperation, and education, while others follow up on commitments made at UNGASS and at previous sessions of the conference.

You also adopted two decisions, including to determine the host country for CoSP 10. I thank and commend the United States of America for taking up this responsibility, and all delegations for reaffirming your dedication to working together.

The conference was enriched by the contributions of more than 520 representatives of civil society, and many from the private sector, academia, and other actors, who will remain valuable allies for integrity and accountability.  

At more than 70 side events held on the margins of the ninth session, States Parties and their partners heard from women integrity leaders, discussed the role of key institutions, and reflected on the most pertinent challenges and opportunities in the fight against corruption.

Now, as we prepare to depart Sharm el-Sheikh, what I have seen this week fills me with pride.

First and foremost, I am proud of the young people who are taking a stand for integrity, and who have joined us at this CoSP to play their part and make their voices heard.

Youth set the tone for this conference even before it started, with the Youth Forum held before the UNGA special session, and the UNODC Coding4Integrity Hackathon, and they have been a shining light throughout this week.

To the five teams from Africa who were the winners of our Hackathon, and to all of the brilliant young people I have met at this conference: you have inspired me and reinforced my belief that if we provide the opportunities, you will lead the way.

I am also proud of my colleagues at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. 

UNODC staff are helping countries and people through our Global Programme against Corruption, and through GloBE, StaR, GRACE, and many other initiatives launched or showcased at this conference, as well as publications that shed light on important dimensions of anti-corruption such as gender, healthcare, COVID, sports, and more. 

I will continue to count on them going forward, to live up to our role as the guardian of UNCAC.

As an Egyptian, it has been a source of pride for me to welcome all of you to the beautiful city of Sharm el-Sheikh, to present a united front against corruption despite pandemic challenges, and despite the many other priorities on our international agenda.

In fact, your commitment to this conference is recognition of the importance of anti-corruption, which must be part of our efforts to confront the greatest challenges facing our world today, from climate change to terrorism and conflict. 

Before concluding, I would like to congratulate the President of the ninth CoSP, His Excellency, General Hassan Abdelshafy, and the Bureau. 

You have kept the Vienna spirit alive and well in Sharm El-Sheikh, guiding us smoothly to a productive consensus. 

I would also like to once again express my deepest thanks to the government of Egypt, for hosting this exceptional CoSP, and for being an exemplary partner to UNODC in its organization. 

In organizing this conference, UNODC and UN Office at Vienna staff have shown dedication and professionalism, and I thank my colleagues for their commitment.

Last but not least, I would like to thank every one of our participants for their contributions this week.

Excellencies,

The symbol for the ninth session of the Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption is the Egyptian goddess Maat.

Maat was the guardian of truth, justice, and order in ancient Egypt. She is part of the proud heritage of my country and culture, and I am proud that she has presided over this successful session. 

As 2021 with all its challenges comes to an end, with many important anti-corruption commitments made during this landmark year, let us agree that 2022 will be the year of action, to implement our declarations, from UNGASS to Sharm El-Sheikh. 

Let us keep our promises to people and youth, letting no one down, and leaving no one behind.

I wish you a safe trip home, and a happy end of the year. Thank you.