Madbouly: Concern for vulnerable groups in itself is a fight against corruption, discrimination and inequality, and the New Republic is the hope all Egyptians are awaiting for a dignified, prosperous life.
Corruption in accordance with the United Nations Convention against Corruption has a significant impact on the quality of life and therefore improving the quality of life deters corruption
H.E. Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, Egypt’s Prime Minister, participated this morning in the opening session of the ninth session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which is held under the auspices and organization of the United Nations, and hosted in Egypt’s International Convention Center in Sharm El-Sheikh from 13 to 17 December. The Conference is held in the presence of a large number of ministers, governors, heads of agencies and bodies, governments’ representatives, regional and international organizations, civil society, think tanks, and the private sector.
Prior to the opening session, the flag of the United Nations and the flag of the Arab Republic of Egypt were raised at the headquarters of the Conference of the States Parties at the International Convention Center in Sharm el-Sheikh, as H.E. Madbouly and Dr. Ghada Wali, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNODC raised the two flags.
The opening session of the Conference followed, where H.E. Mr. Harib Al Amimi, President of State Audit Institution of the United Arab Emirates and the President of the eighth session of COSP gave his statement on the importance of the Special Session of the General Assembly on International Drug Control, during which a political declaration was adopted to enhance action against corruption and accelerate the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption.
H.E. Al-Amimi then announced the election of Major General Hassan Abdel Shafi, Chairman of the Administrative Control Authority, as the new president of the Conference at its ninth session and a ceremony took place to hand over the chairmanship of the conference. The opening session also included the screening of a documentary film entitled "The Road from Abu Dhabi to Sharm Al-Sheikh", which showcased international joint efforts to combat corruption over this past period, and the promotion of direct cooperation to address this issue across borders. Moreover, the launching of the Global Operational Network of Anti-Corruption Law Enforcement Authorities (GlobE Network) was underscored, as were strides in combating corruption in sport through new partnerships with the International Olympic Committee and FIFA.
Following this, H.E. Minister Hassan Abdel Shafi, President of the ninth session of COSP9 delivered a speech in which he welcomed all attendees to the Conference of the States Parties held in the city of peace on the Egyptian soil, the cradle of civilization and history. H.E. Abdel Shafi further emphasized his appreciation of the trust he was given to lead the ninth session of the Conference, extending his sincere appreciation to H.E. Al-Amimi, President of State Audit Institution of the United Arab Emirates. H.E. Abdel Shafi stressed that this Conference is an important platform to exchange experiences in order to enhance the livelihoods of the citizens and build back better amidst numerous challenges.
A video recording was screened to highlight Egypt's role in combating corruption, followed by a recorded speech of the President of the United Nations General Assembly and the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Dr. Ghada Wali, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNODC Executive Director also gave a speech congratulating Major General Hassan Abdel Shafi, Chairman of the ACA on his election as President of the ninth session of the Conference of the States Parties. She also thanked H.E. Al-Amimi, for his efforts during his presidency of the eighth session of the Conference, pointing to the great importance of the Conference of the States parties. Dr. Wali added that the UNCAC is the international instrument to ward off corruption that threatens the security of States and hampers sustainable development interventions around the globe.
In his statement, H.E. Madbouly welcomed the heads of delegations of the States parties to the UNCAC at COSP9, the forum for sharing experiences and practices to ensure the prevention and combating of corruption.
H.E. remarked that corruption is one of the obstacles impeding sustainable development, as it is a multidimensional phenomenon that undermines growth and prosperity, hinders the achievement of quality of life, leads to high poverty rates and weak confidence in public institutions, besides its adverse impact on human rights. He called for dealing with preventing and combating corruption as a central issue that intersects with all aspects of development, stressing that corruption is not only a local matter, but a global one, which requires serious and effective cooperation.
Egypt’s Prime Minister further noted that the Constitution of the Arab Republic of Egypt 2014 includes articles that commit the Government to fight corruption, and that the Constitution's provisions affirm the full technical, financial, and administrative independence of oversight bodies. The Constitution also obliges the relevant State units to participate in the development of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy to prevent and combat corruption, emphasizing that these commitments are directly reflected in safeguarding development efforts and human rights.
H.E. added that the Government of Egypt adopted a comprehensive national economic reform program in 2016 with the aim of achieving macroeconomic stability, attracting local and international investments, and reducing public debt. These efforts, together with a series of national projects implemented by the state, led to the creation of job opportunities, the improvement of citizens' lives, and the transition from the informal sector to the formal sector, thus curbing corrupt conduct.
The Prime Minister also pointed out that over the past years, the Egyptian Government has worked hard to consolidate social protection programs, as evident through the Solidarity and Dignity (Takaful wa Karama), program, which, according to international institutions, is one of the pioneering conditional cash transfer programs, serving 3.8 million families in 2021.
H.E. Dr. Madbouly said that the presidential initiative "Decent Life" comes at the top of the programs that aim to improve the quality of life for the nearly 60 million Egyptian citizens, stating that the funds allocated to this initiative amount to more than $45 billion. The Prime Minister added that the attention paid to vulnerable groups for many years is in itself a fight against corruption, discrimination, and inequality, and the New Republic is the hope all Egyptians are awaiting for a dignified, prosperous life.
The Prime Minister added that Egypt has also launched its National Strategy for Human Rights 2021-2026, centered on combating corruption, strengthening governance and sheathing the values of integrity and transparency in its core. The 4-pillar strategy is deemed a multidimensional one since it addresses 1) civil and political rights; 2)economic, social, and cultural rights; 3) the rights of women, youth, people with disabilities, children, elderly women and men; 4) and human rights capacity-building.
In his speech, H.E. Dr. Madbouly stressed that corruption, as per the UNCAC, significantly affects the quality of life, and therefore improving the quality of life deters corruption, maintaining that Egypt has been keen over the past few years to promote the right to adequate housing through the development of unsafe slums, the provision of social housing, and facilitating water and sanitation services in rural and urban Egypt.
Digitization and the mechanization of government services are the top priorities of the Egyptian state, said H.E. Prime Minister Madbouly. Digitization can reduce corruption by separating service provider and service recipient, enhance transparency, and monitor institutions. H.E. remarked that the New Administrative Capital can serve as a catalyst for administrative reform, for it employs the latest state management techniques and, hence, emerges as a model for promoting digitization and the mechanization of government services.
The Prime Minister also emphasized that the Egyptian Government is well aware that the fight against corruption is not the responsibility of Governments alone, but that people have a fundamental role to play. It has therefore made a lot of efforts over the past years to promote inclusiveness and the empowerment of women and youth out of the firm belief that the empowerment of women is crucial for backing these efforts. Egypt has taken decisive and effective actions to promote the political, economic, and social empowerment of women and to include the youth in the processes of policy-making and implementation, for Egypt holds firm to the need for nurturing generations hostile to corruption, for the youth are the bearers of the future.
H.E. Dr. Madbouly proclaimed that Covid-19 related challenges have underlined the Egyptian Government's efficient crisis-management strategy, adding that the the international community must work hard to put in place the necessary frameworks and mechanisms to enhance the readiness of public institutions and their ability to prevent and combat corruption during crises and emergencies. H.E., thus, commended the States parties’ choice of this issue in promoting the Conference.
The Prime Minister also stressed that, in addition to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, Egypt’s Vision 2030 and the National Anti-Corruption Strategy reflect the shared global and regional objectives, represented by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. This comes in addition to the Agenda 2063, which was endorsed by the African Union Summit in 2015 and the ensuing First Ten-Year Implementation Plan 2014-2023. H.E. reiterated Egypt's commitment to international and regional cooperation in preventing and combating corruption, and the country's eagerness to share experiences and knowledge with international development partners.
H.E. Dr. Mostafa Madbouly concluded by expressing his sincere wishes for the success of the ninth session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, while communicating his utter confidence in this session’s fruitful resolutions that shall enhance the efforts to prevent and combat corruption as as to achieve the prosperity and well-being of the people across the world.