27 May 2022 - Address by Foreign Minister Kasoulides, International Conference of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)

Address by Foreign Minister Kasoulides, International Conference of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), 27 May, 2022, Nicosia

Dear friends,

Allow me at the outset to thank and congratulate the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly for organizing and hosting this significant conference in Cyprus.

As we recognize the efforts and work the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is investing in boosting transparency, accountability and democratic institutions in the fight against corruption, your presence signifies the increasing importance we all attach on this subject matter.

The seismic events unfolding before us will have long lasting effects on the broader region and beyond and are certainly testing the resiliency of multilateralism. Cyprus has been a long-standing advocate of the intrinsic value of multilateralism; we therefore firmly believe that the deepening of such efforts and the promotion of initiatives, such as today’s one, are more necessary than ever. The paramount importance of multilateral co-operation has always been recognized by the OSCE and we must redouble our efforts in ensuring that our commitment to it never wavers.

Corruption poses a substantial threat to the foundations of a transparent, accountable and multilateral system and to the very foundations of our democratic states. It undermines the rule of law, weakens the legitimacy of institutions and erodes the confidence of our citizens. The contemporary crisis regarding the lack of trust of our citizens to their own institutions is deeply connected to the spread of corruption.
Therefore, anticorruption efforts should form an integral part of a comprehensive approach to these burning issues of our times, which have the potential to undermine the effectiveness of multilateral cooperation. It is our shared responsibility to combat corruption and encourage governments and parliaments to collaborate and create synergies in this effort.

Dear friends,

The significance of Parliaments, as a partner in our common objective to eradicate corruption and strengthen the institutions and regulations necessary for its achievement, cannot be stressed enough.

Our own country has regrettably not been spared by this scourge. However, out of these difficulties and setbacks, we have learned and we have improved. As is always the case and for all countries, this is an on-going process which requires constant vigilance and complete dedication. All of us stand to learn from each other in enhancing transparency and accountability and this event today is a perfect opportunity to share and exchange views which will facilitate our efforts. For this, I commend the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the organizers and in particular Mrs. Irene Charalambidou, Member of Parliament, Vice President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and Special Representative on fighting Corruption for her persistent effort and dedication in organizing today’s event.

In closing, allow me to reiterate Cyprus’s deep appreciation to all of you for your participation and contributions. I am confident that your deliberations will have a high added value in further advancing our joint efforts and goals. I wish you every success.

Thank you.