OECD Global Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum opening, May 2023


Remarks by Mathias Cormann, Secretary-General, OECD

24 May 2023


President Robles,

Distinguished guests,

Welcome to this 11th annual OECD Global Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum, which we are delighted to be hosting in person after 3 years of virtual meetings.

Since its inception, this Forum has supported dialogue between governments, the business community and civil society on anti-corruption policy.

It has become a valuable sounding board and source of ideas for our work here at the OECD, in particular our work and standards, such as our 2017 Recommendation on Public Integrity and our 2021 Anti-Bribery Recommendation.

It contributes to our work across a range of OECD policy Committees focusing on a broad range of policy areas ranging from governance to responsible business conduct, taxation, development and trade among other areas.

This year’s agenda reflects the evolving anti-corruption and integrity challenges we are facing.

First, on the role of anticorruption and integrity efforts in protecting and reinforcing our democracies.

Over the next two days, you will explore emerging issues like undue foreign influence and kleptocracy.

Even in the most well-established democracies, low voter turnout, greater political polarisation and growing numbers of citizens dissociating themselves from traditional democratic processes are putting pressure on our institutions.

Corruption, in combination with illicit foreign influence, can exacerbate these challenges, by impairing the fairness and transparency of government processes and elections, and ultimately weaken citizens’ trust in government.

Our Public Integrity Indicators show that:

-  80% of OECD countries have established high-level objectives to counter corruption and integrity risks, but on average, only 55% of the measures they have planned to address these risks have actually been implemented;

-  32% of OECD countries have no rules to prevent undue influence and policy capture; and

-  Over half of OECD countries, which require MPs to submit interest declarations do not track whether they do so in practice. 

Safeguards will be critical, along with adequate budgetary resources and political leadership to close the gap between commitments and implementation.

We are supporting governments in this regard, with practical advice on strengthening lobbying frameworks.

Second, on the continuing importance of global standards for effective anticorruption policy co-operation and ambition.

Our global standards include the binding, treaty-based Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, the only international anti-corruption instrument focused on the supply side of bribery.

Looking ahead, we will be working on updated OECD Principles for Transparency and Integrity in Lobbying.

The insights you share in this Forum will be valuable inputs into the process.

Third, on the OECD’s support for anticorruption efforts as part of the reconstruction and recovery of Ukraine, which will be the theme of a dedicated session tomorrow.

Ensuring high levels of public integrity is a key priority for the government of Ukraine, which is also reflected by the strong delegation we have with us from Ukraine today, including the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Mr. Oleksandr Korniienko and Deputy Minister for Infrastructure Serhii Derkach.

Fourth, on strengthening the role of the private sector in tackling corruption.

The broad representation of the business community here today demonstrates real commitment to this objective.

We are working towards agreeing updated OECD Guidelines for Multi-National Enterprises at the upcoming OECD Ministerial Council Meeting next month.

They will contain new, practical recommendations for the private sector on combatting all forms of corruption.

And the OECD, with the support of the US Government, is launching the Global Initiative to Galvanize the Private Sector as Partners to Combat Corruption.

This is a multi-stakeholder initiative covering issues such as responsible political engagement, integrity in supply chains, and government incentives to promote corporate compliance.

In closing,

This Forum will help ensure the OECD’s standards, data and cutting-edge analysis support effective action against corruption and integrity risks.

The good news is that we have tools to address current challenges, tackle corruption at its root, and ensure our governments embody the integritythat our citizens expect and deserve.

I wish you a positive, productive and outcomes focused Forum.



Related Documents


Annual report
2024 Ministerial Council Meeting documents
2024 Ministerial Council Statement