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UNIS/CP/735
28 November 2013

Corruption's powerful impact on markets recognized at special event in Panama

Corruption distorts markets and drives up prices. A new UNODC guidebook stresses the need to confront this crime through risk management and a progressive anti-corruption programme.

PANAMA CITY/VIENNA, 28 November (UN Information Service) - The vital role played by the private sector in rejecting corruption is being discussed today at a special event on anti-corruption ethics and compliance on the sidelines of the UN Anti-corruption conference taking place in Panama this week.

After the event titled The Importance of Anti-Corruption Ethics and Compliance: New Tools by UNODC, OECD and the World Bank, the Chief of the Corruption and Economic Crime Branch of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Dimitri Vlassis said: "The private sector has a huge role to play in preventing corrupt practices and promoting best practices. More and more businesses are now recognizing that anti-corruption efforts are not just a shield against investigations, they can help promote brand recognition by reaffirming fairness, openness and transparency.

"Corrupt practices are detrimental to all businesses. Corporate scandals shake financial markets and undermine investor confidence. Corruption also distorts markets and increases costs for companies, as well as consumers," he noted. "To truly succeed against corruption, businesses everywhere need to promote anti-corruption best practices."

At the event, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), released a guidebook titled, Anti-Corruption Ethics and Compliance Programme for Business: A Practical Guide, which has been developed to serve as a useful, practical tool for companies seeking advice in developing, implementing and continuously improving an anti-corruption ethics and compliance programme. The special event also featured the launch of the Anti-Corruption Ethics and Compliance Handbook, whose development has been coordinated jointly by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Bank and UNODC, and which compiles existing guidelines for business into one, easy-to-use reference with real-life company case studies.

The event was opened by Daria Shimanovskaya of the Russian Foreign Ministry. Also participating in the panel debate were John Sandage, Director of the Division for Treaty Affairs for UNODC, Patrick Moulette, head of the Anti-Corruption Division, OECD, Galina J. Mishkin-Oliver, Director, Strategy and Core Services, Institutional Integrity (INTSC), World Bank Group, and Dimitry VC. Basnak, Director of the Department for Development of Public Service, Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, among others.

The Fifth Session of the Conference of the States Parties (COSP5) to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) is being held in Panama City, Panama from 25-29 November 2013.

A range of special events taking place in Panama City include match-fixing and corruption in sports; safeguarding against corruption in the context of sporting and other major public events; the role of global banks in delivering anti-corruption initiatives; preventing corruption in public procurement systems; anti-corruption and the post 2015 development agenda, among others.

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For further information please contact:

David Dadge, Spokesperson, UNODC
Mobile: (+507) 6800 3353 Email: david.dadge[at]unvienna.org
or
Anne Thomas, Information Officer, UNIS Vienna
Mobile: (+507) 6800 2981 Email: anne.thomas[at]unvienna.org

For further information visit:
http://www.unis.unvienna.org/unis/en/events/2013/cosp5_panama_2013.html

Conference website of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC):
http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/CAC/CAC-COSP-session5.html

Conference website of the Host Country: http://cospvpanama.com/eng/index-e.html

Follow @UNODC on Twitter and join the conversation using #NoToCorruption and #CoSP5