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2021 Hearing: Parliamentarians focus on fighting corruption


© United Nations

On 17 and 18 February, the IPU and the United Nations brought together some 400 parliamentarians, as well as diplomats, representatives from civil society and experts for a virtual sitting of the Annual Parliamentary Hearing at the United Nations.

This year’s theme, Fighting corruption to restore trust in government and improve development prospects, was designed to ensure a parliamentary contribution to the Political Declaration of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session against corruption (UNGASS 2021), taking place in June. 

The Hearing was opened by IPU President, Duarte Pacheco, and the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir. 

"Corruption is one of the cancers to democracy. The 2005 UN Convention Against Corruption gives parliamentarians plenty of guidance. We just need the political will to implement it," said Duarte Pacheco. “This requires legislation and resources to enforce laws that have become even more urgent due to the pandemic.” 

“Corruption, which perverts so many of our societies, has devastating effects. And this year, with the pandemic, our efforts to fight corruption take on evermore urgency. Parliaments play a critical role in ensuring that recovery funds and vaccines are not diverted through corruption,” said Volkan Bozkir.  

Keynote speaker, Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of the Board of Transparency International, highlighted the importance of the 3 Ts in fighting corruption: Trust, Truth and Transparency. She pointed out the clear correlation between anti-democratic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and high levels of corruption in some countries.

About UNGASS 21

The UN Special Session is mandated to review measures to prevent and combat corruption and strengthen international cooperation following the 2005 United Nations Convention against Corruption. Preparation for the Special Session is supported by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna. 

About the Annual Parliamentary Hearing 

The Annual Parliamentary Hearing at the United Nations is a forum for debate on global issues between parliamentarians, the UN and other stakeholders. The Hearing’s conclusions and recommendations feed into the work of the UN. Its objective is to help Members of Parliament better understand UN decision-making and negotiation processes, as well as to give them a space to bring national perspectives to global governance.