KATHMANDU: International Anti-Corruption Day is being marked today with a theme ” “United Against Corruption”.
The day is being marked across the globe since the passage of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) on October 31, 2003, to raise public awareness for anti-corruption. The United Nations (UN) International Anti-Corruption Day aims to raise public awareness of corruption and what people can do to fight it.
According to the UN, corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. No country, region or community is immune. On this day, various events are held to raise awareness about how to combat corruption. Campaigns, plays, skits, and several other functions are organized to educate people on how to curb the menace corruption.
Every year $1 trillion is paid in bribes while an estimated $2.6 trillion are stolen annually through corruption – a sum equivalent to more than 5 percent of the global GDP. In developing countries, according to the United Nations Development Programme, funds lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times the amount of official development assistance.
In a message, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said, “Every year, trillions of dollars – the equivalent of more than five percent of global Gross Domestic Product – are paid in bribes or stolen through corrupt practices that seriously undermine the rule of law and abet crimes such as the illicit trafficking of people, drugs, and arms”.
He added, “Tax evasion, money laundering, and other illicit flows divert much-needed resources from schools, hospitals and essential infrastructure; funds that are essential to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals”.
He forwarded, “People are right to be angry. Corruption threatens the well-being of our societies, the future of our children and the health of our planet. It must be fought by all, for all”.
And as in their mobilization for ambitious climate action and fair globalization, it is inspiring to see young people demanding accountability and justice as a way to address and eradicate corrupt practices.
We must unite against corruption to stop the drain on resources caused by illicit financial flows. The United Nations Convention against Corruption, ratified by nearly every country in the world, gives us the means to strengthen our commitment to addressing this issue.
Later this month, Governments will meet in Abu Dhabi to review progress and prepare for the first-ever General Assembly Special Session on combatting corruption, which will take place in 2021. I call on them to take decisive action to make the fight against corruption a top priority.
On this International Day, I urge people everywhere to continue to work on innovative solutions to win the battle against corruption and to ensure that precious resources serve the peoples of the world.