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19th IACC formally opens with spotlight on transparency and integrity in COVID-19 recovery

The 19th International Anti-Corruption Conference was formerly opened today, with the President of Korea, current and former UN Secretaries-General, and leaders in the global anti-corruption movement stressing the importance of transparency, integrity and accountability for a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The world’s largest anti-corruption forum is being held online for the first time. Over 6000 participants have registered to attend more than 100 workshops, plenaries and special sessions to discuss pressing issues and innovative solutions in the fight against corruption. The agenda also includes a film festival, concert series and awards ceremony on Wednesday 2 December for recipients of the Anti-Corruption Awards. A high-level political segment will convene to track progress against commitments made at the 18th IACC in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2018.

Highlighting the role that South Koreans’ trust in government played in the public response to COVID-19, the honourable Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea, said:

“Korea will spread the power of openness, transparency, and democracy, which was verified in responding to the pandemic to all other areas, including when we build an inclusive economy.”

Jeon Hyun-Heui, Chairperson of the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission of Korea, a co-host of the conference, drew attention the 19th IACC theme Designing 2030: Truth, Trust and Transparency, saying:

“In the face of unprecedented uncertainty and distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are facing the moment to prepare for another 10 years. Over a journey of four days, we will try to design the future.”

Hugette Labelle, Chair of the IACC Council, said:

“As a global community, we have the opportunity to make stronger more transparent and better-performing health and social security systems one legacy of COVID-19. Systems that are better prepared to tackle future pandemics and other crises. We must seize this opportunity and we must do so by embedding anti-corruption measures at the heart of current and future responses.”

Watch the Opening Ceremony

In a video message to the Opening Plenary, United Nations Secretary-General Antonia Guterres, said:

“Today’s meeting is an important chance to discuss how governments, international organizations and civil society can work together to reinforce anti-corruption measures, contributing to a strong recovery and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“We must all do more to prevent and reduce corruption. Next year’s Special Session of the General Assembly against Corruption is an opportunity we should not miss. There is too much at stake.”

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, remarked:

“COVID-19 and other global challenges such as corruption and climate change have underlined our fundamental interconnectedness. They have also made it increasingly clear that we need global solutions rooted in cooperation and partnership to expand sustainability, transparency, inclusivity, and prosperity for all people and our planet.”

The Opening Plenary also featured:

  • Masatsugu Asakawa, President and Chairperson, The Asian Development Bank

  • Børge Brende, President, World Economic Forum

  • Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, IMF

  • Angel Gurria, Secretary General, OECD

  • Rueben Lifuka, Vice Chair, Transparency International

  • Mari Elka Pangestu, Managing Director, Development Policy & Partnerships, World Bank

Watch the Opening Plenary

See also:

Registration and full agenda for the conference are available at:

IACC monitor: Anti-Corruption Commitment Monitoring Tool (beta)

Media advisory: What a Biden Presidency means for global anti-corruption advocacy

Anti-Corruption Award 2020 shortlist announced

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Headline updated 8 December 2020