The Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Ghada Waly, and the President of Saudi Arabia’s Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha), Mazin bin Ibrahim Al-Kahmous, in late November signed a US$10 million funding agreement to support a global operational network of anti-corruption law enforcement authorities.
The Riyadh Initiative to establish the Vienna-based global network, launched under the G20 presidency of Saudi Arabia, was agreed at the first-ever G20 ministerial meeting on anti-corruption in October and welcomed by leaders at the G20 summit in November.
UNODC will serve as secretariat of the initiative, which will support anti-corruption law enforcement authorities to enhance informal cooperation through regular meetings; an online hub and secure communication platform; and knowledge- and capacity-building programs and tools.
“Direct and informal contact and exchange between law enforcement practitioners are vital to strengthening effective cross-border responses to tackle corruption and bribery, and recover stolen assets. The Riyadh Initiative will offer much-needed operational support to anti-corruption authorities, and I am grateful to Saudi Arabia’s G20 Presidency and our partners at Nazaha for their generous support,” said Director Waly.
“2021 is shaping up to be the global year of anti-corruption, with the first-ever UN General Assembly Special Session against corruption in June, and the ninth session of the Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption in Egypt in December.
“The Riyadh Initiative will provide a crucial link between high-level political commitments to strengthen international cooperation against corruption, and the operational ability to coordinate anti-corruption law enforcement action on the ground.”