Global Engagement Against Corruption: IFAC at the UNCAC CoSP9

In Late December, Scott Hanson, IFAC’s Director of Public Policy and Regulation, posted on IFAC’s Knowledge Gateway that IFAC had participated as an official observer at the the Ninth session of the Conference of the States Parties (CoSP) to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). IFAC presented the following speech at that event (in part):

IFAC, and the global accountancy profession that we represent, are committed partners in the fight against corruption. We understand that the consequences of corruption are significant and widespread – from direct costs on individuals and society, to encouraging other criminal behavior, and ultimately undermining vital trust in institutions.

We are strong supporters of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. We also support the G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plans, including the new 2022-2024 Action Plan, the work of the OECD with respect to bribery and measuring corruption, the work of the Financial Action Task Force with respect to money laundering and terrorism financing, the work of supreme audit institutions worldwide and INTOSAI (the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions), the work of the World Bank, the work World Economic Forum’s Partnership Against Corruption Initiative, the work of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB), the work of the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA), the work of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB), and most importantly the work of millions of professional accountants and others who contribute to the fight against corruption in every jurisdiction around the world, every day.

The accountancy profession is a public interest profession. This manifests in myriad, important ways. But a core tenet of this, of IFAC, of our 180 member organizations, and of the three million plus accountants that we represent, is our strongly-held belief that serving the public interest by fighting corruption is central to the accountancy profession.

What makes the accountancy profession unique?  It is skills and competencies, it is professional judgment, it is independence, and it is the global code of ethics for professional accountants. Grounded in this strong ethical code, professional accountants work in public practice, within businesses of all sizes, and within the public sector at every level. In these roles, they contribute to and support essential transparency, relevance and integrity in the systems and information that underpin vibrant economies and trusted social institutions. Simply put, professional accountants make corruption less profitable and easier to prevent, detect and remedy.

To conclude with two key messages. Firstly, directed at those here in attendance – IFAC wants to reiterate, the global accountancy profession is your ally and committed partner in fighting corruption. We stand ready to engage and work together to advance this critically important mission. That is why IFAC is here today at UNCAC CoSP9. And we will be exploring our role in an event on Friday held in conjunction with the International Bar Association. We would be delighted if you would join us. 

Second, a message for those outside this event, and particularly the youth looking ahead to their careers, and careers with purpose – there is simply no better way to play a meaningful part in the fight against corruption than to become an accountant, regardless of where in the world you are. 

For more on the speech and what took place at the event where it was delivered, check out Global Engagement Against Corruption: IFAC at the UNCAC CoSP9 | IFAC.