Ghada Waly

Director-General/Executive Director

 

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

 13 December 2021

 

دولة رئيس مجلس وزراء جمهورية مصر العربية، الدكتور مهندس / مصطفى مدبولي،

أصحاب المعالي، السيدات والسادة،

يطيب لي أن أتحدث إليكم في افتتاح الدورة التاسعة لمؤتمر الدول الأطراف في اتفاقية الأمم المتحدة لمكافحة الفساد.

بداية، أود أن أتقدم بالتهنئة إلى السيد اللواء المهندس حسن عبد الشافي، رئيس هيئة الرقابة الإدارية في مصر، على انتخابه لرئاسة الدورة التاسعة للمؤتمر، وأن أعرب عن عميق تقديري للسيد الدكتور حارب العميمي، رئيس ديوان المحاسبة بدولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة، على رئاسته للدورة الثامنة.

إن مؤتمر الدول الأطراف في اتفاقية الأمم المتحدة لمكافحة الفساد هو محفل دولي له أهمية فريدة، فهذه الاتفاقية هي الصك القانوني الدولي الشامل الوحيد في مواجهة الفساد الذي يهدد أمن الدول ويعرقل جهود التنمية المستدامة حول العالم.

وقد وصل عدد الدول الأعضاء في الاتفاقية إلى 189 دولة، أي أن أغلب دول العالم قد صدقوا على التزامهم بهذه الاتفاقية، وهو ما يضع مسئولية خاصة على مؤتمر الدول الأطراف، لاسيما في هذه اللحظة الفارقة التي يواجه فيها العالم تحديات هائلة وكذلك فرصاً كبيرة في مجال مكافحة الفساد.  

وعليه، فإن هذه الدورة التاسعة لمؤتمر الأطراف تحظى بأهمية استثنائية، فالعالم في أمس الحاجة لمبادئ الشفافية والنزاهة للتعافي من أزمة "كوفيد" بشكل عادل ومتساوٍ، دون إقصاء أحد، فقد تحولت الجائحة من أزمة صحية عالمية إلى أزمة اقتصادية واجتماعية.

على جانب آخر، فإن هذه الدورة تختتم عاماً شهد عقد الجلسة الخاصة الأولى في تاريخ الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة حول موضوع مكافحة الفساد، ومن ثم يقع على هذا المؤتمر مسئولية متابعة تنفيذ وتفعيل مخرجات هذه الجلسة التاريخية.

وتعقد هذه الدورة في ظل تحدياتٍ استثنائية تفرضها علينا الجائحة، وهنا أود أن أعرب عن خالص الشكر لحكومة جمهورية مصر العربية على استضافة هذا المؤتمر، ولتعاونها مع مكتب الأمم المتحدة المعني بالمخدرات والجريمة ليُعقد على الرغم من كافة التحديات،ولاتخاذ كافة الإجراءات اللازمةلحماية سلامة الوفود المشاركة.

 وعلى الصعيد الشخصي، يسعدني ويشرفني أن أفتتح هذا المؤتمر الدولي الهام في بلدي مصر، وبالأخص في مدينة السلام، شرم الشيخ الجميلة، التي اعتادت على أن تستضيف المجتمع الدولي لمناقشة الموضوعات الحيوية المختلفة.

أود أن أتقدم بالشكر إلى كل مَن يشاركنا في هذه الدورة، سواءً بالحضور إلى شرم الشيخ أو بالمشاركة الافتراضية، فقد تخطى عدد المسجلين للمشاركة 2,130 شخصاً، وهو رقم غير مسبوق بالنسبة لهذا المؤتمر، مما يعكس اهتمام العالم بموضوع المؤتمر.

إن تجمعنا في هذا المحفل يبعث رسالة إلى العالم مغزاها أن مكافحة الفساد تظل أولوية على الأجندة الدولية في أوقات الأزمات، وأننا دائماً سنجد وسائل للعمل سوياً ضد الفساد، مهما كانت التحديات.

 

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are here, at this crucial moment, to raise one voice in rejecting corruption.

Corruption undermines development, security, and the rights of everyone. It erodes public trust in systems and institutions.

The world loses trillions of dollars every year to corruption, at a time when every dollar is needed to increase public investment.

As we gather here in Africa, we are reminded that this continent alone loses more than 88 billion dollars annually to capital flight.

Lack of transparency and accountability in institutions denies people equal access to justice as well as to health, protection, and other services.

When corruption infiltrates public procurement, it destroys competition, raises costs, and compromises delivery, while also affecting private sector development and growth.

Just as it breaks down resilience and exposes people to hardship, corruption also enables criminals, traffickers, and terrorists.

Corruption in banking and finance, and at borders and ports, allows proceeds of crime to find safe haven, helps channel funds to terrorists, and provides gateways for trafficking.

The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the impact of corruption on societies.

In some cases, the need for swift economic and social protection responses has left those responses exposed to corruption risks.

In others, the vulnerabilities aggravated by corruption have left many people at the mercy of the pandemic.

This crisis can and should act as a global wake-up call, as emphasized by the Sharm El-Sheikh Declaration expected to be adopted at this session.

Now is the time to take a stand for integrity. Here, in Sharm El-Sheikh, the world can rise to this moment and take action.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The answers to the problem of corruption start at the very highest levels of leadership, and cascade down to institutions, businesses, communities, and individuals. Each and every one of us has a role to play.

This week, we can come together to find those answers, and to seize on crucial opportunities.

At the top of the ladder of responsibility, we need resolute political will from leaders and governments, to take the steps needed to fight corruption and to mobilize the necessary resources.

The pandemic has taught us the importance of incorporating anti-corruption into all responses, more so than ever in times of crisis.

This forum, and its outcomes, can foster political will, and reaffirm the shared global responsibility to fight corruption.

To put our commitments into action, we must support the institutions at the forefront of this fight. Law enforcement, supreme audit institutions, financial investigation units, and the judiciary need to be empowered, independent, and provided with resources.

Parliaments also have a central responsibility in establishing robust legislation, to deter the corrupt and empower those who bring them to justice.

As the custodian of the UN Convention against Corruption, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime is supporting 120 countries to develop strong laws, policies, and capacities against corruption.

At this conference, we can better determine the needs of today in confronting corruption, and commit global attention and resources to address those needs.

Corruption is indeed a cross-border crime. We need to foster greater international cooperation by minimizing the obstacles that have persistently hampered results.

By joining the recently-launched GlobE network, which already includes 80 authorities from 48 countries, Member States can benefit from a global platform for swift law enforcement cooperation.

I also urge you to engage with the World Bank and UNODC StAR initiative, which has supported 45 countries in recovering stolen assets.

Beyond governments, we need the contributions of other stakeholders who have a key role and responsibility in preserving integrity.

Businesses have an instrumental part to play in preventing corruption in the private and public sectors, by committing to fair competition and helping to protect supply chains.

Civil society is another crucial partner in preserving accountability, while the media bear the responsibility of informing the public, and demonstrating integrity in their own coverage.

All of these actors are represented here at the CoSP, and we must include them in our responses.

Excellencies,

The heart of our responses, and the key to their success, are people.

We need to protect the people who are harmed most by corruption, and enable them as agents of change.

Women are affected disproportionately by corruption and bribery. Long-standing networks of collusion reinforce exclusion in the workplace and in the public sphere, while corruption creates additional barriers to women accessing health, education, and other services.

The most powerful force to take on these networks and bring down these barriers are women themselves. Women in positions of leadership help to break established cycles and structures of corruption.

By paving the way for women to lead, we create a fairer future for everyone.

The world’s 1.8 billion young people are also deprived of opportunity and hope in the absence of integrity. At the same time, they hold the energy and conviction to foster change.

By educating children and young people on integrity and ethics, we can build public trust and the rule of law, helping to ensure the sustainability of anti-corruption efforts, and to generate new ideas for how we can fight corruption.

UNODC is launching a new education initiative, GRACE, at this session. We will need your support to reach young people and unlock their potential.

Sport is a vital arena for youth and for all to build resilience and promote peace.

During this conference, we are presenting the first-ever comprehensive global report on safeguarding sport from corruption.

This report and other new UNODC publications, on gender, health, COVID responses and more, are shedding light on important new dimensions in the fight against corruption, and raising awareness of the need to bring all stakeholders into this fight.

To truly overcome endemic corruption, we need to aim for a fundamental change in mindsets, one that rejects corruption at every level.

People must believe that every act of petty corruption, every small bribe, undermines the rule of law and undermines their own future.

We must send that message to the people we serve, through this conference and through our actions. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Last week, we celebrated International Anti-Corruption Day under the theme “your right, your role: say no to corruption”.

Every single person has a right to a fairer future, and a role to play in protecting that right.

At this Conference of the States Parties, those who are at the forefront of the fight against corruption must come together to lead by example.

Our role is to elevate the use of this Convention to face the challenges of our time, and to prepare for the challenges to come.

Let us live up to our role, for everyone’s rights.

I once again thank the Administrative Control Authority, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the many other partners in Egypt who worked with UNODC to make this session possible.

I wish you a successful and productive week ahead.

Thank you.