Ghada Waly

Director-General/Executive Director

 

High-Level Forum for the Private Sector, in the Margins of UNGASS

  2 June 2021

Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for joining the High-Level Forum for the Private Sector, organized by UNODC and our partners at the UN Global Compact.

Business and society have much to lose from corruption, but they also have the leverage to counter it. This forum recognizes the essential role of the private sector, and it provides a platform for the business community to contribute to global anti-corruption action.

The political declaration adopted by the first-ever General Assembly special session against corruption includes a commitment on the part of Member States to provide stronger incentives for private-sector companies to implement ethical business practices, and to strengthen anti-corruption, integrity, and compliance efforts.

To emerge from the current crisis stronger, more transparent, more accountable and more resilient, we need clear commitment from the private sector in return.

First, companies like yours need to join forces to improve integrity in your industries and supply chains. UNODC supports businesses in Africa, Asia and Latin America to engage in collective action, and we stand ready to work with you.

UNODC also helps cultivate a culture of integrity by offering resources and virtual tools in over 30 languages.

Secondly, as integrity leaders, you need to invest more in education and training beyond your own company, and include SMEs along the value chain. Businesses need to become more inclusive and diverse. Last year, UNODC published research showing that diversity breaks down networks that facilitate corruption.

Having more women on company boards lowers fraud and bribery risks. Doing the right thing makes good business sense.

This Forum brings together business leaders who understand the challenges of keeping business clean and transparent, and who are committed to turning global anti-corruption commitments into real action.

I look forward to hearing the outcomes of your discussion. Thank you.