[Human Rights] HRC / 22nd Session, Joint statement on the Negative Impact of Corruption on the Enjoyment of Human Rights
I have the honour to make this statement on behalf of Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland and my own country Liechtenstein.
We welcome the initiative to hold this panel on the negative impact of corruption on the enjoyment of human rights. Our four countries reiterate their commitment to fight and prevent corruption in all its forms and on all levels. We recognize the importance of the repatriation of illicit funds derived from corruption in order to allow victim states the use of those funds in implementing their human rights obligations. However, we wish to underline the need for a comprehensive and more balanced approach to address the prevention and combat of corruption in all its forms, including so-called “petty” corruption.
“Petty” corruption, by which millions of people are affected in their everyday lives, has serious human rights consequences. Among them figure infringements on the right to non-discrimination, the right to health, right of access to justice and the right to full political participation to name but a few. It goes without saying that the consequences are in particular felt by the most vulnerable and those already socially marginalized.
It is our strong belief that strengthening and promoting good governance, transparency and the rule of law are of particular importance to effectively prevent and fight corruption in all its forms. Establishing a transparent and accountable system of public governance and strengthening access to relevant information for civil society and the media are crucial in the prevention of corruption. These principles are also essential to ensure that repatriated funds are used in line with the human rights obligations of the victim states.
In this context we would like to underline the central role of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, its bodies and its Implementation Review Mechanism - as the most comprehensive and universal instrument to fight against corruption – which plays a key role in fostering international efforts to counter bribery.
In this regard, we also welcome the valuable work of the International Anti-Corruption Academy and of the Basel Institute on Governance in providing training, education and research in the fight against corruption.
To conclude, we would like to ask the panellists how the whole UN system can best assist states to eradicate all forms of corruption with a specific focus on protecting human rights, in particular of the vulnerable segments of society.
Thank you Mr President.