By Caleb Ayansina
ABUJA – The need to tackle illicit financial flows and recovery of stolen assets have taken centre stage at ongoing anti-corruption world forum in Russia.
The conference of the World largest anti-corruption gathering is bringing together people from member states, parliament, inter-governmental Organisations, civil society, private sector and the media.
Speaking at the opening of the Sixth Session of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) currently holding in St Petersburg, Russia, the Executive Director of the UNODC, Yury Fedotov, insisted that reducing all forms of corruption is critical to development.
Fedotov hailed the identification of corruption and bribery as one of the goals listed in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“UNODC very much welcomes the international community’s recognition that Goal 16 on justice and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions is cross-cutting in its scope and impact,” he said.
“Such action,” the UNODC Chief noted, “is also necessary if we want to confront organized crime and violence; stop the exploitation and trafficking of children and women; preserve the environment; ensure sustainable consumption and production; reduce inequality; and build resilient infrastructure.”
On the UNODC’s own anti-corruption activities, Fedotov said the organization was working as the secretariat to the Implementation Review Mechanism, and offered “long-standing research expertise on all aspects of crime, including surveys on the experience of bribery and can help to support implementation of Agenda 2030.”
The Resident Consultant on Media and Event to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Mr Folu Olamiti in a statement made available to Vanguard yesterday said More than 1,000 people from Member States, including heads of anti- corruption agencies in Nigeria are in attendance.
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 implementation of the Convention and discuss how States can better tackle corruption.