Ambassador Küntzle opened side event on „New Approaches in Adressing Cross-Border Corruption, Money Laundering & Organized Crime“ at the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, Abu Dhabi


8th Conference of the States Parties to the

United Nations Convention against Corruption

Abu Dhabi, 16-20 December 2019

Excellences, honorable delegates, ladies and gentlemen,

These days we talk a lot about multilateralism. Germany and France have even taken the initiative to bring to life an Alliance of Multilateralism which now boasts a membership of more than 50 countries!

This initiative was started against the background of multilateralism being more and more under pressure these days. Although most, if not all of the modern day problems – like climate change, diseases, international terrorism, etc. – problems that, as conventional wisdom used to have it – require multilateral approaches for their solution have not been solved.

International organized crime is such a problem. International organized crime requires an international organized response. It is thus a great honour for me to participate in this event which connects actors from various fields and countries. This panel provides a unique opportunity to engage with distinguished crime experts

from a multilateral programme – the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime,

from a state body – the Kenyan Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission,

and from civil society – as represented by the Nigerian Chapter of Transparency International.

Let me extend a sincere „Thank you“ to the panel and to you as an audience for sharing your time with us. I would also like to thank everyone who made this platform for exchange possible, especially the GIZ and Transparency International.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We cannot reach sustainable development without successfully fighting corruption. And in addressing and fighting corruption, we also need to talk about money-laundering and international crime. To keep the United Nations Convention Against Corruption effective, to keep it a powerful weapon, we need to be aware of new threats. 

I don’t need to remind you that the threats of organized crime, money laundering  and corruption  have by now become truly international. Digitalization and globalization have made crime ever faster, interconnected, dispersed. Money moves across borders. This has helped to conceal crime. One country alone cannot prosecute organized crime or detect its proceeds. And this difficulty will only continue to increase as crime gets more transnational. As the UNCAC calls for, we need to form alliances across nations. We all have different levels of expertise and can learn from each other. There it is again, the fundamental idea of multilateralism!

One of the guiding principles of German development cooperation regarding corruption is to ‘follow the money’. Tracing suspicious proceeds can help us discover predicate crime. And making illicit enrichment impossible through effective legal frameworks drains criminals’ blood: its money. But to do so effectively in a world in which money crosses borders quickly, there must be no weak links in our systems. We rely on cooperation. Inter-agency cooperation, regional networks and peer-learning are all effective means to address the challenges of mutual legal assistance and law enforcement cooperation at an operational level. Throughout, the priority will thus be to act on partners’ needs and cooperate at all levels. Only if we stand united and learn from each other, can we eradicate illicit financial flows.

Where internationally organized crime threatens sustainable development and rule-of-law worldwide, we have no time to lose!



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