Global Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum 2021: “Leading through the Crisis”, 23 March 2021


Remarks by Angel Gurría,

OECD Secretary-General

Paris, 23 March 2021

Welcome to the 2021 edition of the OECD Global Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum.

Let me begin by thanking the UK Government for their continued support to the Forum.

One year on from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, its challenges continue to have widespread effects for our economies and societies – they have also exposed the urgency of fighting corruption. Governments’ emergency responses to COVID-19, sometimes bypassing regulations and procedures in the interest of speed, have left many services exposed to a heightened risk of corruption.

Countries are sparing no effort to ensure a better, more resilient recovery. The success of this recovery however, will depend on the trust people have in the capacity of governments to deliver and safeguard long-term interests.

That is why we must keep our fight against corruption alive and kicking, and “lead through the crisis” with integrity. The OECD has been playing its part and I am proud to launch today our new OECD Public Integrity Toolkit. It will provide practitioners in the public sector with world-class digital tools to promote public integrity, and combat corruption.

Next week, we will also be launching a new online, interactive, corruption risk-assessment tool for the private sector, to help guide companies in better identifying and addressing corruption risks in their business operations.

When it comes to promoting integrity, the OECD is not standing still. Let me briefly outline some of the main strands of our work.

First, for over 20 years, the OECD has been leading the efforts on cross-border bribery through its Anti-Bribery Convention and supporting countries to enact corporate anti-corruption legislation. By the end of 2019, 651 individuals and 230 legal entities were criminally sanctioned for foreign bribery offences.

Second, we are working to promote integrity and trust in government and business, among others through our Recommendation on Public Integrity; the OECD Principles for Transparency and Integrity in Lobbying; the Anti-Corruption and Integrity Guidelines for State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs); and our Trust in Business Initiative.

Third, we are tackling tax and other financial crimes that divert funds away from the public at a time when they are sorely needed. In 2019, nearly 100 jurisdictions exchanged information automatically on 84 million financial accounts, involving total assets of around EUR 10 trillion. Our new report, Ending the Shell Game, also outlines the strategies to tackle the professional enablers of tax crimes.

Fourth, we are fighting corruption in developing countries where it costs around 1.26 trillion US dollars annually. With the OECD Recommendation for Development Co-operation Actors on Managing the Risk of Corruption, we are actively supporting donors to better co-ordinate with each other and jointly respond to incidents of corruption in partner countries.

And last but not least, the OECD’s work in the G20 and other global fora is instrumental in promoting a rules-based globalisation. We are proud to support Italy’s G20 Presidency on better measuring corruption, tackling corruption as a facilitator of other crimes, and promoting the fight against corruption in sport.

Going forward, we will continue to work on ensuring that taxpayers get the best return on investment by combating fraud, waste and abuse in public spending. We will also focus on analysing how to limit undue influence in policymaking and ensure integrity and solid accountability processes – issues which were also highlighted as essential for the recovery by the OECD Network of Senior Officials from Centres of Government two weeks ago.

Dear friends,

As governments around the globe continue to tackle the pandemic, rebuilding public trust will be invaluable to build back better. You can count on the OECD to continue working with you, and for you, to fight the good fight and shape a post-COVID world that is more inclusive, fairer and greener.

Thank you.


Related Documents


Annual report
Discover the
Read our
annual report