The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) organizes today, Wednesday 3/3/2021, in partnership with the Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority, the first virtual meeting of the experts’ group on the Riyadh Initiative network aimed at enhancing international anti-corruption law enforcement cooperation, in the presence of representatives of state parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), and more than 25 international anti-corruption organizations.
The group of participating experts will discuss a number of topics and develop mechanisms to implement the components of the Riyadh initiative, most prominent of which are:
- Establishing a Vienna-based network of anti-corruption law enforcement authorities, under the umbrella of the UNODC;
- Establishing an online one-stop hub for the Global Operational Network of Anti-Corruption Law Enforcement Authorities, including establishing a secure communication platform for information sharing between anti-corruption authorities; and
- Developing knowledge and capacity building within the network through organizing anti-corruption training programs, especially in developing countries.
This meeting comes in implementation of the Riyadh initiative to enhance international anti-corruption law enforcement cooperation which was welcomed by the leaders of the G20 countries in the Riyadh G20 Leaders Declaration 21-22 /11/2020, which was held under the chairmanship of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud -may Allah protect him- which was also welcomed by the G20 anti-corruption ministers headed by H.E. the President of the Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority during the first of its kind ministerial meeting for the G20 in October 2020. The initiative is as well supported by all related international organizations Including INTERPOL, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Financial Intelligence Units (the Egmont Group), and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
During the meeting, many countries welcomed the Riyadh Initiative, appreciating the efforts of leadership of the Kingdom, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for launching this initiative, and considering it a historic turning point in fighting corruption on the international level.
On this occasion, H.E. the President of the Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority, Mr. Mazin bin Ibrahim Al-Kahmous, commended the support that the Authority receives from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and HRH the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz -may Allah preserve them- in order to strengthen its jurisdiction and functions in protecting integrity and fighting corruption, and its international cooperation in this field; pointing out that the Riyadh initiative comes at a time when the Kingdom seeks to eradicate corruption from its roots to achieve its 2030 vision, especially since corruption is a transnational crime that countries and anti-corruption entities around the world cannot fight without close cooperation, coordination and exchange of information, in accordance with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC); explaining that the initiative would enhance the ability of countries to pursue corrupt people and their money, in order to reduce safe havens, and to recover and return stolen public funds to their countries of origin.