The United Nations’ (UN) International Anti-Corruption Day aims to raise public awareness of corruption and what people can do to fight it. It is observed on December 9 each year.
International Anti-Corruption Day is a time for political leaders, governments, legal bodies and lobby groups to work together against corruption work by promoting the day and the issues that surround this event. On this day anti-corruption advocates organize events to engage the general public to effectively fight against corruption and fraud in communities. Other activities that promote the day include:
- Musicals and plays to publicize the message of fighting against corruption.
- Keynote speeches by those who were victims of corruption or fought against it.
- Essay competitions on issues surrounding the topic of corruption.
- The dissemination of posters, flyers and other material to increase awareness levels on corruption.
Some organizations hold special recognition ceremonies to pay tribute to people and projects that provide assistance to nations and communities in the battle against corruption.
International Anti-Corruption Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.
Corruption is an issue that affects all countries around the world. It can refer to the destruction of one’s honesty or loyalty through undermining moral integrity or acting in a way that shows a lack of integrity or honesty. It also refers to those who use a position of power or trust for dishonest gain. Corruption undermines democracy, creates unstable governments, and sets countries back economically. Corruption comes in various forms such as bribery, law-breaking without dealing with the consequences in a fair manner, unfairly amending election processes and results, and covering mistakes or silencing whistleblowers (those who expose corruption in hope that justice would be served).
By resolution 58/4 of October 31, 2003, the UN General Assembly designated December 9 as International Anti-Corruption Day. This decision aimed to raise people’s awareness of corruption and of the role of the United Nations Convention against Corruption in combating and preventing it. The assembly urged all states and competent regional economic integration organizations to sign and ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) to ensure its rapid entry into force. UNCAC is the first legally binding, international anti-corruption instrument that provides a chance to mount a global response to corruption.
Posters, slogans, and other promotional material on International Anti-Corruption Day have featured a slogan or logo that takes up two lines. The first line reads “CORRUPTION” in capitalized red words, and underneath are the words “Your NO counts”. Most of the second line is written in black text except for the word “NO” which is highlighted in red capital letters within a white speech bubble.
The UN logo is also associated with promotions for this event. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centered on the North Pole, inscribed in a wreath consisting of crossed conventionalized branches of the olive tree. The olive branches symbolize peace and the world map depicts the area of concern to the UN in achieving its main purpose, peace and security. The projection of the map extends to 60 degrees south latitude, and includes five concentric circles.
Ban Ki-moon is the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Corruption suppresses economic growth by driving up costs, and undermines the sustainable management of the environment and natural resources. It breaches fundamental human rights, exacerbates poverty and increases inequality by diverting funds from health care, education and other essential services. The malignant effects of corruption are felt by billions of people everywhere. It is driven by and results in criminal activity, malfunctioning state institutions and weak governance.
Good governance is critical for sustainable development, and vital in combating organized crime. Every link in the trafficking chain is vulnerable to corruption, from the bribes paid to corrupt officials by dealers in arms and drugs to the fraudulent permits and licenses used to facilitate the illicit trade in natural resources.
Corruption is also rife in the world of sport and business, and in public procurement processes. In the last decade, the private sector has increasingly recognized its role in fighting corruption. A Call to Action launched by the United Nations Global Compact and partners is mobilizing businesses and Governments to engage in transparent procurement. Guidelines are also being developed to help business fight corruption in sport sponsorship and hospitality.
>>> Read more Secretary-General’s Message
Corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies.
No country, region or community is immune.
This year UNODC and UNDP have developed a joint global campaign, focusing on how corruption affects education, health, justice, democracy, prosperity and development.
>>> Read more Anti corruption site.