«Today we have not one but two wars in Ukraine. Along with the threat from Russian troops, Ukraine is in an active fight against corrupt officials», — Head of the NACP during the Special
On June 3, 2021, the Head of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) Oleksandr Novikov delivered a speech at the Special Session of the UN General Assembly against corruption, which takes place at the UN headquarters in New York (USA).
The main purpose of the Special Session is to approve the Political Declaration, which confirms the intentions of the countries to implement the UN Convention against Corruption and to develop international cooperation in this area.
“Today we have not one, but two wars in Ukraine. Along with the threat from Russian troops, Ukraine is actively fighting corruption. The struggle for democratic values, for a sustainable democratic future”, said Oleksandr Novikov during his speech.
He stressed that the main instruments that Ukraine uses to prevent and combat corruption today are digital tools, strong anti-corruption institutions, and quality legislation.
Besides, Oleksandr Novikov suggested that the UN expand the dialogue on anti-corruption digital tools, which today are demonstrating their undeniable effectiveness.
“To put all our anti-corruption arsenal to the best use, we suggest boosting international cooperation based on anti-corruption IT solutions. As our anti-corruption digital tools continue to receive global recognition, we are eager to share these practices with our international partners”, he added.
Also due to the fact that today the Parliament of Ukraine adopted draft laws 4651 and 5309, the Head of NACP stressed the need to ensure the sustainable operation of these tools and protect anti-corruption bodies from constant attacks.
The full text of the speech of the NACP Chairman can be found below.
Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen.
It is my honor to represent Ukraine at the Special session of the General Assembly against corruption.
Ukraine welcomes the adoption of the political declaration, which reconfirms our common commitment to effectively prevent and counter corruption. A transnational phenomenon that, as like as COVID-19 pandemic, affects our countries’ economies and well-being, drastically undermines development and security all over the world.
And today we have not one but two wars in Ukraine. Along with the threat from Russian troops, Ukraine is in an active fight against corrupt officials. A fight for the democratic values, for a sustainable democratic future.
The sources of both of these wars are deeply nurtured in our Soviet past. Therefore, in both of them, we can win only with modern and progressive weaponries.
Among these weaponries, we see advanced digital tools, strong anti-corruption institutions, and better policy decisions.
As for digital tools, during the last seven years, Ukraine has become one of the world’s leaders in developing anti-corruption IT-solutions.
We have reimagined the state procurement system by introducing an electronic system Prozorro. Today Ukrainians can see information about every item the government procures. Thanks to this innovative and impartial system, for the last five years, Prozorro allowed saving more than 6 billion dollars that previously nourished corruption.
As it is impossible to bribe a computer, Ukraine’s Ministry of Digitalization brings in new technologies for the transformation of administrative services. After becoming the first world’s nation to introduce the digital passport that has the same legal power as the paper one, in three years, we plan to make 100% of public services available online, significantly decreasing the opportunities for corruption to spread.
Along with that, Ukraine is the first country to join the Global Register for Beneficial Owners, developing the most advanced financial disclose system.
As of today, the National Agency on Corruption Prevention I lead, has the most extensive big data on assets of public officials, which is the register of e-declarations. Open to the public, the register receives more than 800,000 e-declarations of public officials every year.
Moreover, all the declarations of the public officials are verified automatically by a special logical and arithmetic control system. This IT-system automatically compares the data in the declarations with the information in 14 other state registers, which makes it impossible for the public official to submit false data without the NACP noticing.
The development of these instruments would not be possible without broad technical and expert support from the United Nations Development Programme that continues to be our reliable partner.
Preserving and ensuring the proper functioning of this and other corruption prevention mechanisms remains among the key priorities of our Agency.
Along with other anti-corruption institutions, the NACP represents a strong and effective system. Despite constant attacks, like the one we experienced from our Constitutional Court last year, Ukrainian anti-corruption bodies continue to act with integrity and in a result-oriented way.
Thanks to the National Anti-corruption Bureau work, Ukraine has seen the detention of high-ranking officials for the first time in its history. Among them are former members of parliament, judges, senior management of state enterprises, and the head of the tax and customs office.
The NABU has boosted Ukraine’s international cooperation by conducting successful joint anti-corruption operations along with its peers in Poland and the USA.
With the new Anti-corruption Court established less than two years ago, we expect to see decent punishment for these officials in close terms.
At the same time, strictly following the UN Convention against Corruption, we continue to advance our anti-corruption policy and practice.
Last year our Agency engaged more than 100 stakeholders, including from civil society groups, international organization and business, in the development of the National Anti-corruption Strategy. After the Strategy is adopted by parliament, it will significantly contribute to Ukraine’s potential, providing a clear guideline for judicial and law enforcement reform, a better business environment, and a corruption-free defense sector.
Finally, to put all our anti-corruption arsenal to the best use, we suggest boosting international cooperation based on anti-corruption IT-solutions. As our anti-corruption digital tools continue to receive global recognition, we are eager to share these practices with our international partners.
To make this happen, Ukraine remains open to a broader discussion on the digital anti-corruption best practices both within the UN and at the regional or bilateral levels.
I am not hesitating to say that today Ukraine wages unconventional warfare against corruption. But effective digital tools, continuous advancement of our policy and fostering institutions along with the broad support from Ukraine’s society, will help us to go from strength to strength.
As a country that counters two ongoing wars, including the foreign aggression, Ukraine particularly values international support and cooperation aimed at restoring the rules-based order and achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.