Statement at the UNCAC Conference of States Parties, 13-17 December 2021
by H.E. Ambassador Götz Schmidt-Bremme
Head of the Delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany
to the Conference of States Parties
to the UN Convention against Corruption
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At the outset and on behalf of the German delegation, I wish to thank the Arab Republic of Egypt for hosting the 9th session of the Conference of States Parties. I also congratulate the Chair on the election and would like to thank you for guiding us through the conference. Please be assured of the full support of my delegation.
I also wish to thank UNODC for preparing and organizing this conference in these difficult times.
Germany fully aligns itself with the statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States. I wish to add the following comments in my national capacity.
Germany remains fully committed to preventing, detecting and prosecuting corruption and to foster integrity in the public and private sector. We continue to join forces with other states, but also non-governmental organizations, business and the media that have a crucial role in the fight against corruption,. In times of crises, corruption risks abound, and we must not relent in our anticorruption efforts.
In the past two years, we continued to enhance and improve our domestic anti-corruption framework. This includes a major reform of Germany’s money laundering offence. The newly introduced all-crime approach strengthens money laundering prosecution and broadens the scope of non-conviction based confiscation of assets of unclear origin, so that corruption offenders cannot benefit from their ill-gotten gains and those who launder money for them are brought to justice. Furthermore, parliament adopted an amendment to the offence of bribing members of parliament that now carries a penalty of one to ten years of imprisonment as opposed to previously five years. Both changes also go back to Germany’s first implementation review cycle under the United Nations Convention against Corruption that recommended reviewing money laundering and bribery provisions.
In addition, Germany’s newly created competition register went live on 1 December 2021. The register holds information on companies sanctioned for certain offences including corruption. Procurement authorities have to consult this register before awarding public procurement contracts.
To foster private sector transparency and integrity, Germany enhanced its beneficial ownership register that now provides full and easily accessible beneficial ownership information. We have been advocating beneficial ownership transparency in relevant internationally fora including FATF, G7 and G20 and are happy to see that beneficial ownership transparency figures prominently also on this CoSP’s agenda. We look forward to working with other delegations on a strong and ambitious resolution.
Also, in line with recommendations issued under our second UNCAC review cycle, Germany established a lobby register where stakeholders need to register if they want to lobby parliament or government. Registered lobbyists are required to accept a code of conduct adopted by the federal parliament.
A reform of Germany’s corporate liability regime as well as the implementation of the EU’s whistle blower directive remain on the domestic agenda and will be addressed by the newly formed government that took office last week.
Germany also remains committed to supporting countries all over the world in their implementation of the UNCAC through different bilateral, regional and international activities. In 2021, Germany continued to fund the Implementation Review Mechanism and to support UNODC in assisting States parties in country reviews and implementation of recommendations
A topic that is of particular importance to us are the linkages between gender and corruption of which we want to get a better understanding. Together with other countries we supported the inclusion of gender aspects in the UNGASS political declaration, and we are committed to further promote gender equality in anticorruption efforts. That is why I am happy to highlight that, together with Nigeria and Sweden, Germany organizes a side event on gender and corruption, and I would like to invite and to encourage you to attend this event.