For information only – not an official document

11 December 2023

Remarks by the President of the UN General Assembly to the 10th session of the Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption

Atlanta, United States

It is an honour to address the 10th Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption – and I thank the Executive Director, Ms. Ghada Waly, for the kind invitation.

I extend my warm congratulations to Mr. Richard Nephew, on his election as President of the Conference and wish him every success.

I would also like to thank the outgoing President, Mr. Amr Adel Hosni, for his exemplary Presidency of the previous Conference. 

The milestone that we mark today is significant. Throughout the twenty years since its adoption, the Convention against Corruption has demonstrated its global value, by serving as the sole legally binding anti-corruption instrument – enjoying near-universal adherence by 190 Parties.

In the political declaration adopted by the General Assembly at its special session against corruption in 2021, Member States recognized that anti-corruption is a cross-cutting enabler for upholding human rights, promoting gender equality, addressing organized crime, acting on climate change, and ensuring transparency.

But these commitments are yet to be translated into action. For example, globally, 1 in 7 (15%) businesses encounter requests payments of bribes by public officials.

Corruption – coupled with lack of good governance – severely undermines rule of law and fuels violence, insecurity, and injustice worldwide.

The menace of corruption diverts significant resources that could otherwise be channelled towards financing the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs.

If we are to fulfil the 2030 Agenda – and achieve peaceful and inclusive societies – it is therefore imperative that we proactively prevent and combat corruption, in all its forms and manifestations, called for in the UN Convention Against Corruption and other relevant instruments.

This commitment was recently reiterated by the world leaders at the SDG Summit last September.  Ahead of the 2024 Summit of the Future, I urge Member States to reinvigorate the determination to eradicate the scourge of corruption.

Let me conclude by acknowledging that the outstanding work carried out by the Conference of the States Parties, with the support of UNODC as its secretariat, deserve our appreciation.

Ensuring multistakeholder engagement with civil society, academia, youth, and the private sector will further strengthen its outcome.

Let’s use this anniversary to draw strength from the unwavering unity that binds us in our pursuit of peace, justice, and sustainable development for all.

Let us reaffirm our commitment to this indispensable instrument, celebrating the progress we have made, while working towards a more equitable and just future.

I wish you all fruitful deliberations.

I thank you.

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