6- 10 November 2017
Your excellency Chair of the conference
Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests:
Firstly, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Austria for hosting this conference and I would like to also thank the organizers and the UNODC for their great efforts with the states parties in implementing the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).
Ladies and gentlemen:
Since the establishment of my country Saudi Arabia, it has always exerted efforts toward fighting corruption nationally and internationally. In 1929 the kingdom issued a statement declaring its keenness to consider any complaints against public officials while ensuring the confidentiality and protection of the whistleblowers. A box for complaints was also put on the governing house, and the key of that box was with the king himself.
This statement which was issued nearly nine decades ago established a principle of accountability for every official regardless of their position, and the protection of whistleblowers in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which form fundamental principles of the UNCAC.
Continuing on the firm approach of Saudi Arabia in its efforts in protecting integrity and fighting corruption, and tracking down the perpetrators and assets recovery which were illicitly obtained from individuals or entities whatever they maybe.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques issued a decree on Saturday 4 of November 2017 to form a supreme committee headed by HRH the Crown Prince which will identify offences and crimes related to public corruption, and to investigate and complete necessary procedures in accordance with laws and regulations.
Ladies and gentlemen:
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is keen to implement all provisions of the UNCAC, benefiting from the review of the implementation of the UNCAC by (Cambodia and Mozambique) at the initial review session, and from Ireland and Nauru at the second review session. As a result, many amendments have been made to the existing regulations, and prepare new regulations including law of illicit enrichment, financial disclosure regulations, penal law for public money abuse, abuse of power law, witness and whistleblower protection law and anti-money laundering law.
Saudi Arabia has strengthened its law enforcement procedures to promote its independence and support its work. A recent royal order has been issued to link Public Prosecution directly to the king.
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is keen to exchange experiences with states parties to the UNCAC and to make use of the best international practices and successful experiences to detect corruption. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia will organize on the margin of this conference a workshop entitled (Experiences of States parties in making use of best practices suggested under the CoSP and its subsidiary bodies), in which Saudi Arabia will present its experience in coordinating its governmental entities to implement best practices suggested under the UNCAC.
In addition to the kingdom's efforts to fight corruption, there are also equal efforts to protect integrity. In this regard, please allow me to list three national initiatives in the field of preventive measures:
The first initiative is the establishment of Nazaha clubs in public and private universities, military and civil colleges with the aim of spreading and instilling the concept of integrity and fighting corruption among future generations. 44 Nazaha clubs were established over the past two years.
Second initiative: launch of Tahqok program, which monitor corruption cases in high risk activities in government entities, on the following basis:
1- Results of Nazaha national indicator, which measures the perceptions and experiences of all relevant parties to corruption levels in government entities.
2- Number of related reports and judicial orders on the entity.
3- Internal auditor reports, which get uploaded to the E-platform
4- Nature of the activities and services under assessment, including the power imposed by the nature of the employee's activity and the extent of public servant engagement with the public
5- Quality of policies and procedures in government entities
6- Qayym program that allows the public to evaluate entities electronically.
The third initiative: develop of e-procurement system to automate and unify all government procedures and procurement to ensure dissemination of all information to competitors in a transparent and fair way to achieve principle of equal opportunity. This electronic system comprises of 20 indicators designed to detect cases of collusion, forgery, irregular exceptions, administrative abuse and cases of abusing the public money.
Ladies and gentlemen:
Saudi arabia launched its vision 2030, making transparency, integrity and fighting corruption one of its main foundations. Adopting a firm constitutional approach from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques sentence "the kingdom does not grant anyone immunity in corruption cases. HRH the Crown Prince also asserted this approach saying that no one involved in any corruption case will be spared from accountability, whether they be a prince or a minister. Anyone who has sufficient evidence against him will be prosecuted.
In the end, I would like to invite you all to the workshop that the kingdom will hold today Tuesday which will focus on making the most use of the intergovernmental meetings under the CoSP to the United Nations Convention against Corruption.
Again, I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to the host country and the organizers of this conference and to all of you attendees, wishing all the success to this conference.