I am pleased to greet the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption.
You meet at a critical moment. As we enter the Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals, we must unite against corruption to stop the drain on resources caused by illicit financial flows. Through corrupt practices, trillions of dollars are diverted every year from schools, hospitals and other essential services and infrastructure. Action against corruption is therefore crucial to reducing inequalities, promoting inclusive growth and addressing the climate crisis. By fighting corruption, we can prevent criminal traffickers from exploiting human misery and plundering natural resources.
As we look ahead to the first-ever General Assembly Special Session on ending corruption in 2021, I urge you to take decisive action to make the fight against corruption a top priority.
Large-scale corruption is only possible due to enablers in the global financial system and loopholes that allow for assets to cross borders and public funds to be laundered and hidden away.
International cooperation is fundamental. We must reinforce our best defences: strengthening law enforcement and criminal justice; partnering with the financial sector and businesses to increase accountability and transparency; engaging with civil society; and supporting young people who are demanding accountability, justice and a fair future.
Corruption threatens the well-being of our societies, the future of our children and the health of our planet. It must be fought by all, for all. I count on your support and wish you every success in your deliberations.
Delivered by Mr. Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime