General Assembly General Assembly

Special Session of the General Assembly on

Challenges and Measures to Prevent and Combat Corruption and Strengthen International Cooperation




H.E. Dr Jitendra Singh

Minister of State, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions

June 2-4, 2021


Honorable Chairman of the Session, Respected Ministers and Representatives from United Nation countries, my humble Namaste, to all of you.


We are all gathered here, when Corona is testing our patience, also trying our endurance. In the days gone by to tide over this crisis we have coordinated with experts from different sectors. We are according priority to expert and scientific advice for sustainable COVID-19 management. We were implementing the five-fold strategy of testing, tracing, treatment, COVID appropriate behavior and vaccination. We are applying our entire might to fight this crisis. In addition, the pandemic has created unprecedented short term and long-term challenges of fighting corruption. It is significantly undermining the distribution of our resources, jeopardizing our rebuilding processes, extending economic pressure and delaying the return to growth.


Therefore, this is indeed the most appropriate time to come together for all of us and to strengthen the international cooperation to prevent and combat corruption. I welcome, therefore, the United Nation’s initiative to hold this special session of the General Assembly to give a worldwide political impetus to effectively address challenges and implement anti- corruption measures.


Dear colleagues,


India has a zero-tolerance policy towards corruption.  The motto of the Government of India under Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is ‘minimum government, maximum governance’ with emphasis on transparency and citizen centricity.


With the aim of decentralizing decision making and bridging communities with local governments across cities and towns, innovative solutions are being implemented using digital tools in all sectors.


India is already a digital-first trajectory with one of the highest volumes of digital transactions in the world. The pragmatic and the programmatic use of technology has helped increasing the speed and plugging of leakages in delivering benefits.


From filling healthcare needs to remote areas to building data-driven public policy on health, the use of technology fulfils many roles and most importantly in some of the most remote areas of the country are benefited by this.


Distinguished Delegates,


We have passed The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 2018 as an initiative to tackle corruption head on by stifling the corrupt practices. It criminalises the act of giving bribe and has put in place an effective deterrent for such actions by individuals as well as corporate entities.


Further, the operationalization of the institution of Lokpal or the Ombudsman as per The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 has enabled inquiries into allegations of corruption against public functionaries.


Dear colleagues,


We all know the world is presently combatting another serious emerging challenge of Fugitive Economic Offenders and Assets which flee across national jurisdictions. India’s Fugitive Economic Offenders Act 2018 law empowers authorities for non-conviction-based attachment and confiscation of proceeds of crime and properties and assets of a ‘fugitive economic offender’ –against whom a warrant for arrest in relation to a Scheduled Offence has been issued by any court in India and who has left the country to avoid criminal prosecution or judicial processes.


As the accused take shelter in foreign countries and conceal the proceeds of crime in complex legal structures spread over different countries and jurisdictions, the gaps and weaknesses of international cooperation in this area are fully exploited by such fugitives to their advantage. For intensification of our collective fight against these, the need is to have a strong and aligned international cooperation on the return of persons and assets sought for such offences, consistent with international obligations and domestic legal systems.


I convey my country’s appreciation to all the countries who are taking this fight ahead in the right direction by intensifying efforts, sustaining political commitment and decisive action, at all levels, against preventing and combating corruption by way of endorsing the United Nations Political declaration.


At the end, ladies and gentlemen, I wish for a steadfast and strong commitment to combating the menace of corruption especially in these times of crisis. I reiterate that India is ready to work with other countries, civil society and international organizations to accelerate the implementation of anti-corruption principles.


Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.