In a video message to the Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption (CoSP9) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, Guterres warned that countries investing in Covid-19 recovery, ¨must guard against the diversion of vital resources by criminal opportunists¨.
Corruption deepens inequalities, feeds cynicism and reinforces obstacles facing women and girls, according to the UN chief who maintained that tackling it is “an important step towards inclusive, sustainable development”.
He described the conference as an opportunity to strengthen cooperation and accelerate global action against corruption.
“Let us revive hope and restore trust in institutions…now is the time to act for a safer, more prosperous and just future,” Guterres spelled out.
During the meeting, the chief of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Ghada Waly said we are here, at this crucial moment, to raise one voice in rejecting corruption.
She added that the world loses trillions of dollars every year to corruption, “at a time when every dollar is needed to increase public investment”. And Africa alone loses more than $88 billion annually in terms of capital flight.
“Lack of transparency and accountability in institutions denies people equal access to justice as well as to health, protection, and other services”, destroying competition, raising costs, and compromising delivery, said Ms. Waly.
The Covid-19 pandemic has underlined the impact of corruption on societies – aggravating vulnerabilities and threatening responses.