I would like to congratulate and thank the Government of Mexico and the Municipality of Mérida for holding this successful conference.


Israel attaches high significance to the fight against corruption, including the fight against transfer of funds of illicit origin, and the funneling of public funds to private hands. Such crimes can endanger the stability and security of societies and undermine the values of democracy, morality and the rule of law. The illicit acquisition of personal wealth by senior public officials can be particularly damaging to national economies and can jeopardize social, economic and political development. Corruption impoverishes countries and deprive their citizens of good governance. As such, promotion of international standards, for transparency, accountability and integrity is of utmost importance.


This Convention marks the first global tool for fighting corruption, a task that can only be conducted through close cooperation between all states_ The Convention sets comprehensive standards, which are first of their kind for the fight against corruption. Israel believes that following the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988, and the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime of 2000, the adoption of a Convention Against Corruption constitutes a significant step forward in the fight against international crime. Israel was pleased to work actively with other delegations on the formulation of this Convention and is ready to take part in the international efforts to achieve the goals of the Convention on the basis of due process of law.


The Convention adopts an approach which is comprehensive and multidisciplinary and which presents an opportunity for greater cooperation not only among states parties but also between them, the private sector and international organizations. The fact that this Convention deals also with officials of public international organizations is of great importance. However, Israel believes that further work on this matter should be done. An international organization has a legal personality of its own and a duty of its own to fight corruption separate from the duties of the Member States of the organization.


I hope and believe that international cooperation in the fight against corruption can and will be achieved. All governments have exerted enormous efforts and time to conclude this Convention and thus sent a clear message to society that corruption shall not and will not be tolerated and that they are determined to fight it.


Thank you.