Pre-recorded statement by the Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson at the ninth session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption in Egypt 13.12.2021
Mr President, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,
It is a great honour for me to have this opportunity to address this audience from Finland. Fighting corruption is our common commitment and joint effort. Corruption affects all societies; it hampers public trust and the rule of law, facilitates organised crime and stalls economic development.
Finland aligns itself with the statement made by the European Union. I would like to add some recent national developments and insights as well.
I am extremely happy to share with you that the Government of Finland has adopted the first national anti-corruption strategy in May 2021.
Our anti-corruption strategy aims to commit public administration and political actors to combat corruption effectively; to promote the identification of corruption and the transparency of decision-making; to improve the ability of authorities to hold those who have engaged in corrupt practices accountable for their actions; and finally to facilitate the creation of national situation awareness of corruption.
The short-term objective of this Strategy is to reinforce the prevention and combating of corruption. Anti-corruption awareness raising and education are key elements in this regard. The vision and long-term objective of the Strategy is to build a society where corruption cannot take hold or go unnoticed.
The Strategy will have a preventive effect on corruption and will strengthen ethically sound practices in public administration and companies. The Strategy and the Action Plan will also help to prevent and combat corruption in the context of public procurement and increase the transparency of procurement, which in turn will promote healthy competition. Additionally, the Strategy will have a positive impact on the transparency and credibility of political decision-making. We aim to involve the civil society, the media and the academia in this joint effort.
As outlined in the Government Programme, the Anti-Corruption Strategy will support the implementation of sustainable development objectives, such as those aimed at the strengthening of the rule of law and good governance, and the reduction of corruption and bribery. Finland has also adopted an action plan against trafficking in human beings.
Excellencies, The Government of Finland cannot overemphasize the importance of the UN Convention Against Corruption and the key role of the UNODC. Finland remains committed to the implementation review. Finland is currently undergoing the second cycle of the review. We also encourage the States Parties to share information and data and to include civil society in the review process.
To conclude, countering corruption at the time of unprecedented crises, the pandemic, and the climate change is ever more important, as well as the role of international cooperation.
I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to express the views of the Government of Finland. I wish everyone successful and interesting discussions at this Conference and I look forward to its outcomes.