Message from UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov,
on International Anti-Corruption Day
Corruption and bribery, if left unchecked, are serious impediments to sustainable development and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda throughout the world. These serious crimes breach the essential trust between citizens and governments, as well as businesses and consumers.
When corruption and bribery succeed the goal of fairness and equality fails; entire communities can be left without infrastructure, hospitals or schools. But, corruption also undermines vital tendering processes, damages industries and debases competition.
Where corruption is rampant countries face poor inward investment, and blemished reputations. Corruption is, therefore, a short term victory for the few that deeply harms the many.
For all these reasons, International Anti-Corruption Day is an opportunity to acknowledge the work undertaken against corruption and bribery, but also to chart future efforts to rid the world of these crimes.
This year was another milestone in these activities. The sixth session of the Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) came together in St. Petersburg to hold a dialogue on global anti-corruption activities.
There were a number of successes, including in the areas of asset recovery, prevention of corruption and bribery, the development of public/private partnerships and the launch of the second cycle of the review mechanism under UNCAC.
In his first ever message to the Conference, the UN Secretary-General stressed the need to end corruption as a means of achieving sustainable development.
He was echoed by almost all speakers, who further underlined the importance of Goal 16, which seeks to substantially reduce corruption and bribery, as well as promote access to justice and effective, accountable and transparent institutions.
In December, we will celebrate a decade in the life of UNCAC. It will be a time to pore over lessons learned and acknowledge the remarkable impact of the peer review mechanism, which has united countries in the mutual desire to fully implement the convention.
The review mechanism has brought into stark relief the greater-than-ever need for technical assistance to help governments improve their anti-corruption regimes.
To succeed in this endeavour, I trust the international community will live up to its commitment that made the Convention a reality and rally to support the efforts of States Parties, particularly developing countries.
Whether acting bilaterally or multilaterally, donors and technical assistance providers have a critical role to play in the coming years to help achieve full compliance with the Convention.
But, in addition to governments, international organizations, academia, the private sector, civil society and professional associations must work together, with a joint sense of purpose, if we are to succeed.
On this important day for global anti-corruption efforts, I pledge that UNODC will continue to work with its many partners to use UNCAC as a platform to end corruption, and in doing so, make the world a fairer place.
2015 Theme: Break the corruption chain
The 2015 joint international campaign focuses on how corruption undermines democracy and the rule of law, leads to human rights violations, distorts markets, erodes quality of life and allows organized crime, terrorism and other threats to human security to flourish.
Corruption is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon that affects all countries. Corruption undermines democratic institutions, slows economic development and contributes to governmental instability.
Corruption attacks the foundation of democratic institutions by distorting electoral processes, perverting the rule of law and creating bureaucratic quagmires whose only reason for existing is the soliciting of bribes. Economic development is stunted because foreign direct investment is discouraged and small businesses within the country often find it impossible to overcome the “start-up costs” required because of corruption.
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