“We can’t pretend there were no problems before COVID-19 pandemic, ”he said Volkan Bozkir. “Transnational financial crime and corruption are unfortunately on the agenda in our interconnected and interdependent world.”
He said it affects decision-making processes and “remains one of the most critical challenges for states, institutions and communities.”
Bad for society
From the erosion of public confidence to the weakening of the rule of law and the destabilization of peacebuilding efforts to the violation of human rights, the President of the Assembly outlined the negative repercussions of corruption.
It hits the poor, marginalized and vulnerable people the hardest and “prevents progress” towards gender equality and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), he added.
“We cannot allow the corruption to continue. We will not do that, “said Mr. Bozkir.
Double your efforts
Mr. Bozkir highlighted the need to build on existing progress, including through the UN conventions against Transnational organized crime is Corruption; international conferences on development financing, which led to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; and the High Level Group on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity, for the achievement of 2030 Agenda (FACTI panel).
And the Political declaration of the UNGASS to tackle corruption, it builds on the existing architecture to provide the international community with “a roadmap for the future,” he said.
“It will guide member states in their work to combat corruption and money laundering, as well as critical efforts to recover assets and prevent illicit financial flows,” which derail the progress of the SDGs.
Corruption feeds on crises
“Corruption thrives in a crisis,” Bozkir said, noting that corrupt actors have harnessed the unprecedented effort the COVID-19 pandemic has put on supply chains, infrastructure and systems around the world.
In the midst of a complex global vaccine launch effort, he urged policymakers to “leverage this special session” to take concrete steps to prevent and address corruption by closing loopholes and putting safeguards in place.
“We must learn from this experience because the next crisis will come and we will have to be prepared to deal with it when it happens,” said the Assembly Chair, inviting attendees to a high-level support event tomorrow to address corruption in the context of the pandemic COVID-19.
The international community must continue to adapt to new and emerging challenges, Bozkir said, calling the special session “a key moment to stimulate a global and multi-stakeholder response” with a significant role for non-governmental organizations, civil society and others. .
“We will not recover from this global economic crisis without a concerted effort to end corruption,” he concluded. “Every member state, and indeed every individual, has a responsibility to supervise, take preventive measures and defend the rule of law, without exception.”
United Nations photo / Eskinder Debebe
No more business as usual
In her opening statement, Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed said that ordinary activities are no longer acceptable and that the governments of the future must commit to eradicating corruption and promoting the rule of law in all respects.
While citing a lack of oversight that led to illicit financial flows, the UN deputy head noted that people are fed up with public institutions that despise accountability and promote impunity.
Ms. Mohammed said corruption exacerbates injustices and inequalities.
“Corruption disproportionately affects women by limiting access to public resources, information and decision-making,” she stressed, adding that even
“It facilitates organized crime and the unsustainable exploitation of natural resources …[and] it allows illicit financial flows and tax havens.
As SDG promises require higher levels of public trust, he said this event could rebuild that trust, help strengthen the social contract and maintain the goals of the Decade of action handy.
Stopping corruption, funding the SDGs
Corruption stifles opportunities for the poor and marginalized, increases inequality and diverts development funds, he said ECOSOCPresident Munir Akram, while affirming FACTI’s recommendation for a new mechanism to track and address illicit financial flows, corruption and extortion.
Emphasizing the need for urgent global action, he said curbing corruption could translate into up to $ 1 trillion in tax revenues, which could be used for a variety of SDG-related public goods.
Mr. Akram said we must “stop the bleeding” in developing countries, calling it criminal to say the least.
The G7 welcomes the statement
Ministers of the G7 intergovernmental organization welcomed the UNGASS Declaration and pledged to achieve its goals through measures to prevent corruption, improve transparency, enforce anti-corruption laws and deny safe havens to corrupt individuals while defending democratic governance and fundamental freedoms.
“We firmly reiterate the importance of strong and unified leadership in tackling corruption” and pledge to continue to “drive progress on this important agenda,” they said.