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Ukraine strengthens cooperation with the OECD in the implementation of the Istanbul Anti-Corruption Action Plan and in combating bribery

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Ukraine strengthens cooperation with the OECD in the implementation of the Istanbul Anti-Corruption Action Plan and in combating bribery

Within the last 8 years, Ukraine has established an effective anti-corruption system. Our success was significant to the point that it scares Russia – an opaque, corrupt state. In his infamous pre-war speech, Putin listed all of the anti-corruption authorities in Ukraine. The National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP), the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO) and the High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC). And here is what scares him most. Our anti-corruption bodies now work as one coordinated mechanism, and we are guided by a common goal — building a European and democratic Ukraine without corruption. This was stated by the Head of the NACP, Oleksandr Novikov, during the high-level meeting of the OECD Anti-Corruption Network for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which was also attended by the heads of anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies of the countries participating in the Network.

“The fight against corruption is one of the main directions of the state policy of Ukraine and one of the priorities of our long-term cooperation with the OECD. Ukraine actively cooperates with the Anti-Corruption Network and plans to only strengthen this cooperation. Participation in this initiative helped us to reform the anti-corruption, legislative and institutional system in accordance with scientifically based international standards and best practices”, — noted Oleksandr Novikov.

One of the important areas of cooperation between Ukraine and ACN is the implementation of recommendations received as part of the regular monitoring of the implementation of the the Istanbul Anti-Corruption Action Plan (IAP). In this context during the Pilot 5th round of IAP monitoring, it was expressly noted that Ukraine leaped unprecedentedly in combating high-level corruption through the functioning of specialized independent investigative, prosecution, and judicial institutions. Guarantees for the whistleblowers protection and the Ukrainian assets declaring system were recognized as well-developed, comprehensive, and progressive.

During the high-level meeting, the Deputy Secretary General of the OECD, Kerri-Ann Jones, noted in her opening remarks Ukraine’s resilience in countering Russia’s unjustified and unprovoked full-scale aggression, and also emphasized that Ukraine is currently fighting not only for its own independence, but also for the freedom and security of all democratic world. An important component of this struggle is an effective anti-corruption policy, ensuring the integrity of business and the public sector, emphasized Kerri-Ann Jones. She also expressed her admiration for Ukraine’s active position in these issues. David Cullen, Deputy Director of the Directorate General for Neighborhood and Enlargement of the European Commission, noted that despite the forced need to defend itself with weapons, Ukraine continues to effectively integrate into international structures, as evidenced by the acquisition of the status of a candidate for EU membership and the recognized prospect of future membership in OECD.

The Head of the NACP emphasized the importance of Ukraine joining the OECD Working Group on Combating Bribery in International Business Transactions, which the national working group is already actively working on (Decree of the President of Ukraine No. 539/2022) under the leadership of the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andrii Yermak).

He recalled that during the Ukraine Recovery Conference (URC 2022) in Lugano (Switzerland), the Prime Minister of Ukraine submitted to the Secretary General of the OECD an application for Ukraine’s membership in the OECD.

“We are absolutely confident that interaction with the OECD within the Working Group will be an excellent addition to our already existing anti-corruption cooperation framework with the OECD/ACN and it will further promote evidence-based policy making in the sphere of anti-corruption in Ukraine. Accession to the OECD Working Group on Bribery and implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention will help to reduce corruption risks in Ukraine’s reconstruction processes, improve the business climate, recognise Ukraine as a more secure country for investments of foreign companies entering Ukrainian markets and vice versa”, — said Head of the NACP.

He added that, despite the war started by Russia, Ukraine continues to fulfill its obligations to society and international partners in the fight against corruption.

“Ukraine has proven that it is an integral part of the democratic world. Despite the war and Russia’s desire to destroy our country and democracy, Ukraine continues its anti-corruption work, taking new and completing the started steps. Thus, despite the war, the Parliament of Ukraine adopted the Anti-Corruption Strategy until 2025.  This is an important step on our way to joining the EU, NATO and the OECD”, — stated Oleksandr Novikov.

The Head of the NACP also reminded of the importance of the appointment of the Head of the SAPO and the successful holding of the competition for the position of the Director of NABU in order to continue the implementation of anti-corruption initiatives in Ukraine.

“Recently, after a lengthy procedure Ukraine finally got a new head of the Specialised Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office. Immediately he started showing results by reexamining some previous cases, and submitting results of investigations to the High Anti-Corruption Court. Now we are in the beginning of the process of selecting a new Director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and we hope to hear some news regarding the procedure and next steps soon.

All this points to our continued effort to reinforcing law enforcement against high-level and complex corruption and be reassured – we won’t give up fighting both on the frontline and against corruption”, — emphasized Oleksandr Novikov.

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