Response to the Secretary General’s Thematic Report to the Permanent Council “Anti-Corruption”

OSCE efforts to combat corruption.

Response to the Secretary General’s Thematic Report to the Permanent Council “Anti-Corruption”

As delivered by Deputy Chief of Mission Elisabeth Rosenstock-Siller
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
July 8, 2021

Thank you, Madam Chair.

The United States welcomes the weekly report of the Secretary General, as well as the thematic report to the Permanent Council on OSCE efforts to combat corruption. We strongly support the ongoing work of the Secretariat on this topic, and agree with the Secretary General’s assessment of corruption’s far-reaching consequences.

Preventing and combating corruption is, and should remain, a key goal of the OSCE. As we collectively spur sustainable economic recovery from the pandemic, we must be mindful of potential diversion of resources by corrupt malefactors. The OSCE is tailor-made to address this critical theme. Tackling corruption successfully requires a comprehensive approach, mirroring the OSCE’s own vision of security. To be effective, governmental anti-corruption efforts must include building the capacity of law enforcement, ensuring judicial independence, and strengthening local and regional partnerships to promote sustained growth and reduce susceptibility to malign actors.

The roles of civil society and independent media also are essential to exposing corruption, promoting accountable governance, and promoting reforms.

The scope of the measures needed to effectively combat corruption is clearly cross-dimensional, and we support the Secretariat in its efforts to identify and implement approaches which transcend dimensional boundaries. We believe the organization can and should do more to examine and address the linkages between corruption and transnational organized crime, including in areas like trafficking in natural resources. We applaud the cross-dimensional perspective and leadership of Special Representative for Combating Corruption Anita Ramasastry, as reflected by the upcoming July 9 Joint Meeting of the Three Permanent Council Committees.

The United States commends the Secretariat for its ongoing efforts to assist participating States to implement their existing commitments and for its invitation to delegations to provide input on new approaches. We continue to support extrabudgetary projects to achieve these aims—and here I would particularly like to note the extrabudgetary project on the asset recovery cycle in Southeastern Europe, to which we have recently contributed an additional €300,000 and which provides training to enhance critical regional capacities and strengthens networks for participating States to meet the challenge.

We are particularly pleased to see the project incorporate outreach to civil society in determining how recovered assets can be put to best use, including by the vulnerable communities that were the victims of the corruption.

Our delegation is happy to provide more comprehensive responses in the near future to the Secretariat regarding cross-dimensional anti-corruption efforts involving new technologies and youth engagement.

Thank you, Madam Chair.