Corruption today in the world has transformed into an increasing and global problem that affects every state, international organizations and significantly affects the life of not only at the domestic level,but also negatively affects global processes, ranging from world trade to basic human rights.
June 2021 was a significant year, as New York, in a hybrid format, for the first time in the history of the UN, hosted a Special Session of the UN General Assembly dedicated to anti-corruption issues.
At this Session, the UN General Assembly adopted a very important and relevant international document – a Political Declaration on the tasks and measures to prevent and combat corruption and strengthen international cooperation.
It should also be noted that Central Asian Research Institute on Corruption and Money Laundering supported this declaration and is a signatory, since corruption is a serious threat to national security and our country.
The Declaration states:
1.All forms of corruption in general and grand corruption, in particular, have a substantially negative impact on global peace and security, human rights, climate and biodiversity, as well as on the achievement of all Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN agenda 2030 for sustainable development.
2.In the aftermath of the SARS COVID-19 pandemic, the violation of human rights derived from corruption has been massive, through corrupt practices in the acquisition of medical equipment, medicines, vaccines, as well as the granting of economic assistance to those affected by the pandemic. Corruption reinforces privileges, such as access to health care and socio-economic benefits being available to few, at the expense of the lives and health of millions of human beings.
3.What is happening with corruption in the context of the pandemic forces us to reiterate the need for transparency and accountability in government contracts, in particular those that are essential for the survival of millions of people, such as contracts for the purchase of vaccines; the need for more stringent management of conflicts of interest for public officials with the capacity to grant such contracts; the relevance of professional and independent, strong judicial authorities and monitoring agencies to ensure they fulfil their duties without political influence as well as the importance of identifying the beneficial owners and people ultimately benefiting in any contract involving large amounts of goods and funds.
4.It is essential that States make an effort to identify the victims of corruption both individual and collective and establish reparation and compensation mechanisms for the damages they have suffered.
5.There can be no impunity for those responsible for corruption.
In connection with the adoption of this declaration, a Special Session of the UN General Assembly prepared and presented a resolution that promotes a number of issues, including promoting public access to information, protecting journalists and civil society groups investigating and uncovering corruption, and promoting the exposure of corruption.
According to this resolution, the States parties to the UN Convention expressed the will to commit to “respect, promote and protect the free search, receipt, dissemination and publication of information related to corruption and to ensure effective public access to information”, “increase transparency in decision-making processes” and “identify and strengthen bodies responsible for facilitating access to information, as well as through the use of digital tools, open data and Internet portals to make information more accessible”.
With regard to the protection of journalists, the Resolution of the UN General Assembly Special Session gives States a new obligation to “ensure safe and adequate conditions for journalists” and “investigate, prosecute and punish threats and acts of violence committed against them within the jurisdiction of the State”, which were not previously included in the UN Convention against Corruption.
Thus, it is necessary to emphasize once again the significance and importance of new trends in the anti-corruption direction, each document adopted by the UN General Assembly is of enormous importance throughout the world, and for Kyrgyzstan this is a topical issue that requires strong political will and systematic work.