Ghada Waly

Director-General/Executive Director

 

Stepping up Global Action for Business Integrity

  14 December 2021

 

 

Question to the Executive Director: This session celebrates ten years of partnership between Siemens and UNODC. And Sabine Zindera rightly said in the video that we just saw - the Siemens Integrity Initiative is more than just paper, it makes a difference!

Tell us please Ms. Waly, what is the impact that Siemens funding for UNODC’s work related to business integrity has had. What is the change that has happened, that would otherwise perhaps not have happened? Maybe you could share a concrete example of impact?

 

Thank you for the question. Let me begin by first thanking Siemens for organizing today’s special event, together with UNODC.

It is a great pleasure to be joined in this panel discussion by such distinguished speakers. Your support for this event and your commitment to this important topic are very much appreciated.

The partnership between UNODC and Siemens is strong.

Throughout our journey together, we have been able to demonstrate that a collaborative approach increases our collective impact against corruption and the credibility of our actions.

Together, we have implemented projects in 17 countries around the world to strengthen legal frameworks, help small businesses identify corruption risks, and involve youth, civil society, and academia in developing responses to corruption.  

I would like to outline a few examples of how this work has made a difference.

In Kenya, Mexico, and Pakistan, UNODC implements the Global Integrity Education project.  

The goal of the project is to equip university graduates with knowledge and ethical perspectives at the start of their careers. This empowers them to become a driving force for business integrity in their future companies.  

UNODC has developed 16 university modules on integrity and trained more than 290 lecturers on the delivery of those modules.

7,650 students in those 3 countries have been taught through the modules and now possess increased awareness of ethical issues and knowledge of how to prevent and counter corruption in the private sector.

UNODC has also facilitated lectures by 15 business guests and is now helping students gain first-hand experiences in the compliance departments of participating companies.

Let me give you a second example of work we have done on business integrity in Egypt over the last year, despite the many challenges of the pandemic.

60 representatives from Egyptian companies have increased their knowledge of how to identify and mitigate corruption risks in business processes. An additional 70 representatives from Egyptian companies participated in awareness-raising activities on business integrity.

We have developed a corruption risk assessment tool to support small and medium-sized enterprises in Egypt in identifying and mitigating corruption risks. This tool is now being adapted for use by SMEs in Iraq, Libya, and the United Arab Emirates.

Our partnership with Siemens continues going from strength to strength.

In July 2021, UNODC received 4 million dollars from Siemens to implement the project “Global Action for Business Integrity”.

This is the largest-ever single contribution by the private sector to the anti-corruption work of UNODC.

The project will mobilize stakeholders from the public sector, the private sector, civil society, and academia to develop effective responses in seven countries:

In Brazil, we will conduct a youth hackathon to identify solutions to improve dialogue between the public sector, private sector, and civil society on business integrity.

In Colombia, we will work to reinforce the capacity of civil society and academia to engage in collective action against corruption.

In Egypt, we will implement “On the Job Training” modules on business ethics for senior university students to build a culture of integrity among young professionals.

In Ethiopia and in Saudi Arabia, we will train small- and medium-sized enterprises on corruption risk assessment.

In Malaysia, we will assist national authorities in the development and implementation of regulations on the liability of legal persons and beneficial ownership transparency.

In Uzbekistan, we will strengthen the capacity of the public sector and civil society organizations to embed anti-corruption components in legislation and review their effectiveness.

These are just a few examples of what lies ahead. The new project also has a global outreach component, and we look forward to rolling out these initiatives.

At its first-ever special session against corruption in June this year, the UN General Assembly adopted a political declaration encouraging the private sector to take collective action against corruption.

This includes the establishment of public-private partnerships – this is what we have done at UNODC and what we will continue to do, thanks to partners such as Siemens.

Our partnership showcases that the private sector has a key role to play and can be at the forefront of global anti-corruption efforts.

I call on other large multinational companies to be equal champions of integrity, to step up their actions, and to translate their commitments into practice.

By working together, we can strengthen the collective impact of our efforts and achieve results.

Thank you.