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    UNIS/CP/702
    7 December 2012

    "Bribery accepted is fairness declined," says UNODC Chief ahead of International Day against Corruption

    164 States are party to the UN Convention against Corruption, but with 30 Member States of the UN remaining outside the Convention a big push is still needed for universal adherence

    VIENNA/JAKARTA, 7 December 2012 (UN Information Service) - In his statement for International Anti-Corruption Day, held on 9 December, the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Yury Fedotov said: "Our democratic societies are rooted in the promotion of lasting social and economic development; but while corruption exists, there can be no inclusivity, no opportunity, and no equality. Bribery accepted is fairness declined. It is crucial, for this reason, that States and their partners undertake every necessary measure to confront and to eliminate corruption."

    In his statement, Mr. Fedotov noted that, in today's globalized world, corruption was one of the world's greatest challenges with no country or territory untouched by this threat. He stressed that UNODC's response to corruption was founded on the United Nations Convention against Corruption-UNCAC-which began its life on 9 December 2003 in Merida, Mexico. "UNCAC is a blueprint, as well as our hope for a future without corruption," said Mr. Fedotov.

    With 164 States parties, UNCAC is close to universal adherence by Member States. Calls have been made by all major fora, including the UN General Assembly, the G8 and the G20, encouraging countries that have not yet ratified or acceded to the Convention to do so. In his statement, Mr. Fedotov strongly urged the international community to maintain this momentum and for the remaining 30 Member States of the UN to adopt the Convention as soon as possible. However, adoption is only the first milestone and there was a need for States to adopt, but also fully implement the Convention.

    Key to the success of UNCAC is the peer-review mechanism which provides for a global and inclusive process enabling States to identify gaps in their implementation of the Convention. Another vital area was the need to build partnerships with academia, the private sector, the media and civil society, among others, to strengthen transparency and accountability.

    In his own statement on International Anti-Corruption Day, UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, said that corruption "…aggravates environmental problems, through the illegal dumping of hazardous waste and the illegal trade in animal and plant life facilitated by bribery and under-the-table incentives that determine who is awarded contracts, especially for highly lucrative, large-scale infrastructure projects."

    Mr. Fedotov also referenced the connection between corruption and environmental crime. "Corruption also undermines the impartial use of natural resources and the fair distribution of wealth; both within and between countries. To combat this, UNODC supports Member States in the management of natural resources through initiatives such as the pilot project on countering illegal logging in Indonesia," he said.

    Mr. Fedotov was speaking during the Indonesia leg of a 12-day mission to South-East Asia. While in Indonesia. Mr. Fedotov met with Government ministers, as well as UNODC donors. He also visited a Wild Nature Conservation Centre in Tambling and discussed the impact of corruption, environmental and wildlife crime on the region.

    South-East Asian timber trafficked into Europe and Asia is estimated to be worth around $3.5 billion a year. Corruption also enables environmental crime. To stem corruption, the Indonesian Government has passed a Clean Government Law, an Anti-Money Laundering Law, an Anti-Corruption Law and more recently a Law on Freedom of Information, alongside other progressive measures.

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    To read the Secretary-General's full statement on International Anti-Corruption Day go to:
    http://www.unis.unvienna.org/unis/pressrels/2012/unissgsm397.html

    To read the UNODC Executive Director's full statement on International Anti-Corruption Day go to: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/speeches/statement-on-international-anti-corruption-day-2012.html

     

    For further information, please contact:

    David Dadge
    Spokesperson, UNODC
    Telephone: (+43- 1) 26060-5629
    Email: david.dadge[at]unvienna.org