Statement by Mr. Oleksandr Novikov, Head of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention of Ukraine, at the UNGA Special Session on Challenges and Measures to Prevent and Combat Corruption

Statement by Mr. Oleksandr Novikov, Head of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention of Ukraine, at the UNGA Special Session on Challenges and Measures to Prevent and Combat Corruption

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 full commitment to effectively prevent and counter corruption. A transnational phenomenon that, as like as COVID-19 pandemic, affects our countries’ economies and well-being, 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 7 years, Ukraine has become one of the world’s leaders in development of anti-corruption IT-solutions.

We have reimagined the state procurement by introducing an electronic system Prozorro. Today Ukrainians can see information about every item the government procures. Thanks to its innovative approach, for the last five years, Prozorro allowed saving more than 6 billion dollars that previously nourished corruption.

It is impossible to bribe a computer. That is why Ukraine’s Ministry of Digitalization brings in new technologies to administrative services sector. Ukraine hasbecome the first world’s nation to introduce the digital passport that has the same legal power as the paper one. And in three years, we plan to make 100% of public services available online. This will allow to significantly decrease the opportunities for corruption spread.

Along with that, Ukraine is a 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 of e-declarations of public officials every year.

Moreover, all the declarations of the public officials are verified automatically by a special control system. This IT-system automatically compares the data in the declarations with the information in 14 other state registers. Therefore, it is impossible for the public official to submit false data without the NACP noticing.

The development of this instruments would not be possible without a 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 otheranti-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 members of parliament, judges, senior management of state enterprises, and the head of the tax 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, we continue to advance our anti-corruption policy and practice, strictly following the UN Convention against Corruption.

Last year our Agency engaged more than 100 stakeholders in the development of the National Anti-corruption Strategy. Among these stakeholders are civil society groups, international organizations and business. After the Strategy is adopted by parliament, it will significantly contribute to Ukraine’s potential. The Strategy will provide 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. Our anti-corruption digital tools continue to receive global recognition. Therefore, we 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 level.

Today Ukraine counters two ongoing wars, including the foreign aggression. Thus, my country particularly values the international support and cooperation aimed at restoring the rules-based order and achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Thank you.