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Special session of the United Nations General Assembly on Challenges and Measures to prevent and combat corruption and Strengthen international cooperation


The special session of the General Assembly on challenges and measures to prevent and combat corruption and strengthen international cooperation was held from 2 to 4 June 2021 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, pursuant to General Assembly resolutions 73/191 and 74/276, as well as decisions 74/568 and 75/562. This is the first ever United Nations General Assembly special session against corruption (UNGASS), with online and in-person participation of representatives from member states, regional economic organizations, civil society organizations, and observers all over the world. Under the direction of the Government Inspector General, the Government Inspectorate’s working group in charge of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) followed this Special Session via webcast.

At the Plenary session, there were featured statements delivered by the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Volkan Bozkir; United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Mr. Amina J. Mohammed; President of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, Mr. Munir Akram; Chairman of the Conference of UNCAC Member States, Mr. Harib Saeed Al Amimi; Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Ms. Ghada Waly; Youth Forum representative, Ms. Serena Ibrahim and a number of speeches from member countries. The statements emphasized the important role of anti-corruption measures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, in economic development and achieving sustainable development goals. The country representatives also introduced the measures they have been taking to control corruption and end impunity for corrupt crimes.


At this special session, the Political Declaration titled “Our common commitment to effectively addressing challenges and implementing measures to prevent and combat corruption and strengthen international cooperation” was adopted by consensus of the Senior Leaders and representatives of UNCAC member states. The Declaration called for strong global action, stepping up the fight against corruption, and recognizes the UNCAC as a common legal tool to effectively combat corruption. Member States reaffirmed their determination to fight corruption more effectively and tackle illicit financial flows through a number of comprehensive commitments on prevention, criminalization, international cooperation, asset recovery and technical support. The commitments also addressed current emerging cross-cutting issues such as the relation between corruption and gender, corruption and organized crime, and corruption in sport, as well as the need for awareness raising, research on and better measurement of corruption and its impact. The Declaration is expected to be discussed further at the 9th Conference of UNCAC Member States which will be taken place from December 13-17, 2021 in Egypt; more additional measures to realize the commitments made under UNGASS will be decided.

In addition to the adoption of the Political Declaration, one of the important contents of this special session was the launch of the The Global Operational Network of Anti-Corruption Law Enforcement Authorities (GlobE Network) where UNODC will act as the Secretariat. The Network will provide law enforcement agencies with a new practical tool to promote a more agile and efficient cross-border cooperation, and actively share information to better track and prosecute cross-border corruption offences and return stolen assets.

Moreover, at this special session, there were a number of other special events and online side meetings, focusing on topics related to corruption, including protecting the safety of whistleblowers and reporters and promoting of basic rights in access to information, Youth in anti-corruption, etc.