Mr President: On behalf of Vienna-based Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and as its board member, I congratulate you on being elected to chair the 10th session of Conference of States Parties (COSP). We are confident that you will continue to play a positive and meaningful role in this position of great responsibility. We also want to acknowledge the role of the US in promoting civil society engagement in both UNCAC and UNTOC Review Mechanisms and Constructive Dialogues.
The Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice is playing a positive role in civil society engagement in close coordination with the UNODC Civil Society Unit and other multi- stakeholders.
Mr President, I also represent Pakistan’s Civil Society Alliance of about 50 NGOs, CSOs, Professionals, Experts, and the Private Sector. We came up, on behalf of the civil society, with a National Strategy against Serious and Organized Crime and Prevention of Corrupt Practices in 2022. We were also instrumental in the launch of the Pilot Initiative on Pakistan’s UNTOC Review Process in September 2022.
We endorse 7 recommendations proffered by the UNCAC Coalition under the Prevent theme of discussions today and would like to reiterate the following 5 points for due considerations for Atlanta Declaration:
1) National civil society engagement strategies need to be inclusive, transparent and constructive.
2) Both state and society must foster joint action plans to prevent corruption with a focus on whole-of-society and whole-of-government approach.
3) Public awareness and education require extensive involvement of youth in schools, colleges and universities.
4) We recommend parliamentary and public oversight on institutions like the judiciary and armed forces.
5) We urge for transparency in beneficial ownership and protection of whistleblowers, along with a strong regulatory framework regarding offshore havens where stolen money is stashed by corrupt elements.
In conclusion, organized corruption must be fought and the nexus of Corruption and Transnational Organized Crime must be broken.