United Nations – The world is relying on the Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption to take bold decisions and act decisively to strengthen the global fight against corruption and bribery.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said this in his message at the opening of the Sixth Session of the Conference of States Parties (CoSP6) to the UN Convention against Corruption on Monday at St. Petersburg, Russia.
According to a document from the conference made available to UN correspondents in New York, the CoSP6, holding from Nov. 2 to Nov. 6, is the world’s largest anti-corruption gathering.
In the message delivered by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Executive Director Yury Fedotov, Ban acknowledged the devastating impact of corruption.
“To achieve the new development agenda, we must end corruption and bribery.
“Our ultimate goal must be to turn hands thrust out in hope of payment into hands joined together against this pernicious crime.
“Let us forcefully convey the message that when bribes are paid, everyone counts the cost,” Ban said.
Earlier, Fedotov had also reinforced the secretary-general’s words: “corruption abets criminals in exploiting poverty and disadvantage and enables organised crimes to flourish at the expense of all our societies.
“There is the need to ensure that public resources go where they are supposed to go.’’
He also underscored the Convention’s strength as a solid platform for engaging the private sector as a key partner in the fight against corruption and in global action to achieve sustainable development outcomes.’’
NAN reports that no fewer than 1,000 people from member states, parliaments, inter-governmental organisations, civil society, the private sector and journalists from a broad range of national and international media are attending COSP6.
More than 30 side events will be held on the margins of the conference, discussing on how to better tackle corruption.
The UN Convention against Corruption is the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument and was adopted in 2003.
Every two years, the States Parties to the Convention meet to review its implementation and discuss how states can better tackle the crime.
NAN recalls that Nigeria signed the convention on Dec. 9, 2003, and ratified same on Dec. 14, 2004.
It was signed by 140 countries and as of September 2015, there are 177 parties.
The convention is a multilateral protocol convention negotiated by UN member states and the first global legally binding
international anti-corruption instrument.
In its 71 Articles, the convention requires that States Parties implement several anti-corruption measures which may affect their laws, institutions and practices.
These measures aim at preventing corruption, including domestic and foreign bribery, embezzlement, trading in influence and money laundering.
Furthermore, the convention is intended to strengthen international law enforcement and judicial cooperation.
It is also aimed at providing effective legal mechanisms for asset recovery, technical assistance and information exchange, and mechanisms for implementation of the convention, including the CoSP6. (NAN)