Statement by the INCB President on the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day, 9 December 2022

VIENNA, 9 December 2022 - On the occasion of the International Anti-Corruption Day, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) is highlighting the role of corruption in drug trafficking and the need for coordinated action to address this challenge.

Corruption, in particular through bribery and the diversion of legitimate resources, is both an enabler and a product of illicit financial flows related to drug trafficking and the broader illicit economy. Corruption is a crime in and of itself, but it also erodes trust, weakens governance, encumbers economic development and further worsens inequality, poverty, social division and the environmental crisis. As a result, corruption and illicit financial flows must be identified and stopped around the world.

The thematic chapter of INCB's 2021 Annual Report focused on the illicit financial flows related to drug trafficking and their impact on development and security, and included a section on illicit financial flows and corruption.

Developing countries are particularly vulnerable to illicit financial flows, which pose a huge challenge to political and economic security. Public priorities cannot be realized because of corruption, organized crime, illegal exploitation of natural resources, fraud in international trade and tax evasion. Strong international cooperation and concerted action by developed and developing countries, in partnership with the private sector and civil society, are urgently required.

Many Governments are working to address the problem through asset recovery. To this end, consistent enforcement is required to support legislative and institutional reforms for addressing and preventing corruption. Governments should combat impunity through more effective transparency laws that provide for appropriate action for individuals and entities involved in corruption and illicit financial flows, and promote a culture of accountability and transparency to curb corruption and the illicit economy.

INCB's reiterates its recommendation that all Governments become parties to and implement all United Nations conventions related to countering transnational organized crime, in particular trafficking in drugs, illicit financial flows and corruption, and implement the provisions of article 3, paragraph 1 (b) of the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988, as well as the provisions of the International Standards on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation. As the international community commences its observance of the twentieth anniversary of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, it is more important than ever that the world unites against corruption for development, peace and security.

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