Norway is pleased to take part in the 2021 Economic and Environmental Dimension Implementation Meeting (EEDIM). We join others in thanking the Swedish Chairpersonship and the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities (OCEEA) for organising this meeting. We welcome that this year’s meeting is devoted to anti-corruption and good governance.
Good governance played a major role in Norway’s transition from relative poverty to prosperity and in our efforts to build a functioning democratic society and welfare state. Rule of law, strong public institutions, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, absence of violence, anti-corruption, and gender equality have been key factors in this transition.
Good governance increases trust, enhances economic growth, and strengthens service delivery through public institutions. It reduces poverty and inequality. It promotes resource mobilisation for sustainable development. Corruption does the opposite.
Corruption constitutes a significant threat to the security and stability in many regions of the world. No country is free of corruption, nor immune to its ramifications. We are particularly concerned about transnational, large-scale corruption in the top tiers of the public and private sectors. Serious challenges remain as regards
-jurisdictions that provide safe havens for the corrupt and the proceeds of theircrimes
-insufficient beneficial ownership transparency
-financial and legal enablers of corruption
-and insufficient and slow recovery and return of assets to countries of origin.
Strengthened international cooperation is called for to improve and effectively implement measures to prevent and combat the scourge of corruption. In this endeavour, transparency, accountability, integrity, and inclusion are fundamental building-blocks.
Every effort to counter corruption must be firmly grounded in principles of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. Allow me also to underscore that civil society, academia, media, and the private sector all have crucial roles to play in the fight against corruption and in building good governance.
The OSCE provides valuable assistance to the participating States in fulfilling our common obligations to promote and protect good governance and to prevent and counter corruption. We commend the OSCE for its ability to provide tailormade assistance, through the field operations, the institutions and the OCEEA.
In closing, we look forward to the discussions, and trust that they will bring better understanding of the progress made by the participating States in implementing our common commitments.