United Nation Secretary-General António Guterres has said that 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 crimes such as the illicit trafficking of people, drugs and arms. He stated that 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 (SDG).
According to a statement by the UN scribe to mark this year’s International Anti-Corruption Day, people are right to be angry as corruption threatens the well-being of the societies, the future of our children and the health of our planet. It must be fought by all, for all.
He therefore urged the people across the world 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.
“And as in their mobilization for ambitious climate action and a 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,” he added.
He disclosed that Governments will meet in Abu Dhabi to review progress and prepare for the first-ever General Assembly Special Session on combating 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,” he noted.
In his statement on International Anti-Corruption Day, Executive Director, UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Yury Fedotov observed that corruption affects people in their daily lives and it bars them from accessing resources and opportunities. HE said corruption erodes trust in public institutions and compromises the social contract, thus thwarts attempts at building a better world.
“As we enter a decade of ambitious action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals on time, stepping up efforts to eradicate corruption and promote good governance is essential if we are to deliver on our global pledge to leave no one behind. To win the fight against corruption is to create the conditions necessary to effectively combat poverty and the inequalities that stem from it.
“Notable progress has been made in the past fifteen years on the criminalization of corruption and the recovery and return of stolen assets, thanks to the almost universally-ratified United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). For ten years now, implementation of the Convention has benefited from a unique peer-review mechanism, serving as a trigger for countries to launch legislative action, strengthen their institutions and increase cooperation,” he said.