VIENNA / CONVENTION AGAINST CORRUPTION

31-Oct-2023 00:04:56
Governments, international organizations, civil society, youth, and the private sector gathered in Vienna to mark the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. UNIS
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STORY: VIENNA / CONVENTION AGAINST CORRUPTION
TRT: 04:56
SOURCE: UNIS
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 31 OCTOBER 2023, VIENNA, AUSTRIA
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, arrival of Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen greeted by Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and Director-General of the UN Office at Vienna Ghada Waly, security guards saluting, Vienna International Centre
2. Wide shot, Director General of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Gerd Müller, Ghada Waly (UNODC), Federal President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Mariano Grossi and Deepti Choubey, Director of Human Resources Services, Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO)
3. Med shot, small brass band with four musicians playing, conference room
4. Wide shot, audience, Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen, UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly, brass band musicians playing, conference room
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Ghada Waly, Executive Director, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC):
“It was here in Vienna, in this very building, where the UNCAC was negotiated 20 years ago. The world united around a common vision for integrity, transparency, and accountability, affirming the role of our host country Austria as a global centre for responsible and constructive multilateralism.”
6. Wide shot, audience, conference room
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Ghada Waly, Executive Director, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC):
“At the SDG Summit in September, Member States recognized the importance of fighting corruption as part of their urgent efforts to accelerate the SDGs. The fight against corruption is a fight for clean and effective investment in public goods and services; a fight for justice and equal opportunities; a fight to leave no one behind. It is also a fight for peace, security, and stability, a fight against practices that fuel conflict, facilitate organized crime, and enable the financing of terrorism.”
8. Med shot, audience in conference room
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Alexander Van der Bellen, Federal President, Austria:
“Corruption not only tremendously slows down progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the SDGs, it also comes with a huge price tag.”
10. Med shot, audience, conference room
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Alexander Van der Bellen, Federal President, Austria:
“We can assume that a significant part of global public spending is lost to corruption. Imagine all the resources we could unlock to bridge the financing gap to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and to invest in leaving no one behind.”
12. Med shot, audience, conference room
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Alexander Van der Bellen, Federal President, Austria:
“Austria and every other country in the world must ask itself whether it is doing enough in the fight against corruption and what more needs to be done. Our goal should be to create an environment where even small-scale corruption is rendered socially unacceptable, to put in place a framework where there are no incentives for corruption, where any such attempt is swiftly thwarted, and eventual perpetrators are effectively prosecuted.”
14. Med shot, audience, conference room
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Serena Ibrahim from Lebanon, speaking on behalf of the YouthLED Advisory Board of UNODC’s Global Resource for Anti-Corruption Education and Youth Empowerment (GRACE) Initiative:
“It is a tremendous responsibility that I carry, standing before you today, to convey their concerns, demands, and aspirations for the future they dream of. A future in which integrity, respect for human rights, and justice are not just ideals but the norms we collectively strive to uphold.”
16. Wide shot, audience, Austrian President, youth delegate, Serena Ibrahim
17. Med shot, three speakers on stage, Austrian Minister of Justice, Alma Zadić
18. Med shot, four speakers on stage, Permanent Representative of Egypt Mohamed Hamdy Elmolla
19. Wide shot, conference room
20. Wide shot, audience
21. Med shot, audience, conference room
22. Med shot, panelists on stage, Mark Pieth, former President, the Group of States against Corruption of the Council of Europe (GRECO) and former Chair, OECD’s Working Group on Bribery
23. Med shot, audience, conference room
24. Med shot, speakers on stage, Permanent Representative of Egypt Mohamed Hamdy Elmolla is speaking
25. Med shot, Permanent Representative of the United States of America Laura S.H. Holgate at podium
26. Med shot, Executive Director of UNODC, Ghada Waly, audience
27. Close up, Executive Director of UNODC, Ghada Waly
28. Med shot, brass band
STORYLINE
Governments, international organizations, civil society, youth, and the private sector gathered in Vienna today (31 Oct) to mark the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).

The world’s first and only legally binding anti-corruption instrument, the Convention enjoys near universal adherence by governments, with 190 parties to the Convention.

The Convention seeks to prevent and criminalize corruption while promoting international cooperation, the recovery and return of stolen assets, technical assistance, and information exchange.

“This anniversary should remind us not to rest our ambitions. We must continue working towards a world free of corruption,” said Alexander Van der Bellen, Federal President of Austria, in his speech.

“Governments, NGOs, media and the international community at large must join forces. By effectively addressing corruption, we can advance the rule of law and strengthen democracy.”

The anniversary event highlighted the Convention’s transformation of the anti-corruption landscape over the past two decades. International cooperation has helped return US$ 4.3 billion in corruption proceeds to the countries from which they were stolen since 2010.

Tools like the Implementation Review Mechanism, under which each State party to UNCAC is reviewed by two peers, have helped governments identify more than 9,000 gaps in the implementation of the Convention and over 4,000 technical assistance needs.

UNODC’s Regional Anti-Corruption Platforms and Anti-Corruption Hubs have helped state parties to implement UNCAC more rapidly through the sharing of good practices and challenges.

The Global Network of Anti-Corruption Law Enforcement Authorities (GlobE Network), meanwhile, connects 172 authorities from 98 countries.

Yet corruption persists.

The anniversary event underscored where gaps remain in UNCAC’s implementation.

A lack of effective preventive strategies and policies continues to weaken public institutions and perpetuates the tolerance of corruption as an accepted norm.

United Nations data reveals that between 2015 and 2021, 20 percent of people worldwide who access a public service reported having paid a bribe to do so.

Lower-income countries bear the burden of corruption more heavily.

The prevalence of bribery was 37.6 percent in low-income countries, versus 7.2 per cent in high-income countries between 2011 to 2020.

Achieving efficient cooperation and recovery of proceeds of corruption in cases that span international borders can be complex and challenging.

“For two decades, the UNCAC has stood as a resonant global commitment to fight corruption and as a highly effective platform to carry out that fight,” said Ghada Waly, Executive Director of UNODC.

“As our global framework in the face of corruption, the UNCAC is vital for shared global aspirations.”

At the upcoming tenth session of the Conference of Parties to UNCAC, which will take place in Atlanta, United States, from 11-15 December 2023, parties will have the opportunity to develop a common vision for future anti-corruption efforts.

“In a world that yearns for unity, we need to seize this opportunity and stand united against corruption,” added Waly.
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