Statement by the Director-General Jan Beagle on United Nations Convention Against Corruption Conference of States Parties
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
17 December 2021
Madame Executive Director,
It is a pleasure to address this Conference on behalf of the International Development Law Organization, the only global intergovernmental organisation exclusively devoted to promoting the rule of law to advance peace and sustainable development.
I would like to begin by congratulating the Presidency and Executive Director Ghada Waly for their successful leadership during an incredibly challenging time.
Corruption has an inherently corrosive effect on societies, increasing inequality, undermining trust in institutions, and fuelling discontent and insecurity.
It is a fundamental challenge to sustaining peace and achieving sustainable development.
As recognised in the Political Declaration of the Special Session of the General Assembly Against Corruption, COVID-19 has aggravated the scale and impact of corruption, and is creating a crisis of confidence in public institutions at a time when lack of good governance can mean the difference between life and death.
Since the pandemic began, IDLO has worked with partners around the world to address emerging justice needs, including strengthening measures to combat corruption.
Our Strategic Plan places the fight against corruption front and centre, with an emphasis on rebuilding trust by making laws and institutions work for people.
In countries including Armenia, The Bahamas, Indonesia, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, The Philippines, Somalia, and Ukraine, we are helping to make justice institutions more transparent and responsive, and enhancing their capacity to prevent, detect and prosecute fraud and economic crime.
Allow me to share three points drawing on our experience: First, promoting integrity in the public sector is crucial.
As Articles 7, 8 and 11 of the Convention recognise, strong, effective and accountable justice institutions are essential. The judiciary, in particular, has a critical role to play in the fight against corruption.
We must strengthen the ability of all parts of the justice chain to prevent, investigate, prosecute and adjudicate offences related to corruption.
In IDLO’s experience, specialised anti-corruption judicial bodies provide timely and effective resolution of corruption cases.
In Ukraine, for example, we supported the development of a specialised, independent High Anti- Corruption Court.
An important element was the involvement of international experts in the judicial selection process.
Second, enhancing states’ capacity to prevent corruption and ensure the independence of justice systems is key at a time that they are under increasing threat around the world.
IDLO helps partners to develop innovative digital solutions, including court monitoring tools for electronic case management, that promote efficiency and transparency in the justice sector, while reducing corruption risks.
In Kenya, for example, we supported the implementation of digital systems on electronic filing and payment systems, virtual hearings, court recordings, and transcription services.
We also engage with civil society to empower people with the skills and knowledge they need to hold their institutions accountable.
In Mongolia, for example, we are building the capacity of Citizens’ Oversight Councils and the Independent Authority Against Corruption, and promoting greater public awareness of corruption challenges.
Third, detecting and preventing illicit financial flows and facilitating asset recovery is essential for inclusive economic development.
We work with countries to build capacity to prevent, detect and prosecute serious economic crimes.
For instance, in Somalia, IDLO supported the establishment a Financial Reporting Centre to help prevent money laundering and support the government to investigate and prosecute offenders.
I would like to conclude, by emphasising the importance of partnerships and international cooperation. IDLO is proud to have contributed to anti-corruption related partnerships, cooperation and knowledge sharing over the past year, including at the UNGASS and in the G-20 Anti-corruption Working Group.
We are committed to scaling up our programmatic, research and policy advocacy work in this area, and to collaborating with you all, to combat the scourge of corruption, as an essential part of implementation of the 2030 Agenda.