RIYADH — Saudi Arabia, represented by the Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority, and the United Nations, represented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), signed an agreement to establish the Riyadh Secure Platform for exchanging information between members of the Global Operations Network of Law Enforcement Authorities (GlobE) with funding to the tune of $20 million.

Mazen Al-Kahmous, head of the Control and Anti-Corruption Authority, signed the agreement on behalf of Saudi Arabia while Ghada Waly, executive director of UNODC in Vienna, represented the UN body.

Al-Kahmous said this agreement would address the challenges faced by countries that lack direct communication and cooperation mechanisms between agencies concerned with the anti-corruption fight as required by the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

He explained that Saudi Arabia’s support for establishing the platform confirms the Kingdom’s awareness that corruption is a cross-border phenomenon, and it is impossible to destroy safe havens for corrupt people and limit their flow of funds without close international cooperation.

The network was launched at the United Nations headquarters in Vienna on June 3, 2021, on the sidelines of the first special session of the United Nations General Assembly to combat corruption. Saudi Arabia’s role in establishing the Global Anti-Corruption Network was appreciated by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, when he spoke at the opening of the General Assembly session.

The United Nations officially adopted the Riyadh Initiative Network on December 17, 2021, during the 9th session of the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which was held in Sharm El-Sheikh, through a resolution that invited the state parties to the Convention to join the network and participate effectively by exchanging information related to criminal investigations and procedures and supporting the network’s goals and objectives.

Spain was appointed Chairman of the Network's Steering Committee, while Saudi Arabia was appointed Vice-Chairman.

Over the past three years, more than 115 countries and 205 anti-corruption agencies have joined the Network, demonstrating broad support for and great importance of this initiative.

The Riyadh Initiative Network achieves development gains for the countries of the world, especially countries that join the network, and an estimate of the size of these gains can be derived from what the United Nations announced about the enormity of corruption globally, which is approximately 2.6 trillion dollars annually, equivalent to 5 percent of global output. Of this amount, a trillion dollars is wasted.

The UN resolution to adopt the Riyadh Initiative Network (GlobE) stipulated several matters, most notably indicating that the establishment of the global operations network for law enforcement authorities concerned with combating corruption comes within the framework of the “Riyadh Initiative,” and inviting the state parties to the agreement to join the network, and exchange information regarding criminal investigations and procedures and support the network's goals.

The resolution also welcomed the efforts of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in establishing the network to work on developing an integrated electronic center that provides a forum for cooperation, which includes a secure platform for confidential communication between members of the network, and to submit reports on the progress achieved and the challenges faced in implementing the resolution to the conference at its sessions.

Saudi Arabia is a state party to the UN Convention against Corruption, and this conference is considered the most important in the world in combating corruption, as it adopts United Nations resolutions related to combating corruption and promoting integrity and transparency. The number of states parties to the Convention reached more than 180 nations.

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