UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says it is the responsibility of every country to end the menace of corruption as no country is immune to it.
Ban stated this in his message for the 2016 International Anti-Corruption Day, observed on Dec. 9.
“The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the world’s inspiring new manifesto for transforming our world and building a better future for all.
“But, as we undertake this crucial journey of implementation, a broad barrier stands in our path: corruption.
“No country is immune, and every country bears a responsibility to end it. Corruption strangles people, communities and nations.
“It weakens education and health, undermines electoral processes and reinforces injustices by perverting criminal justice systems and the rule of law.
“By diverting domestic and foreign funds, corruption wrecks economic and social development and increases poverty. It harms everyone, but the poor and vulnerable suffer most,” he said.
The theme of this year’s observance is “Corruption: an Impediment to the Sustainable Development Goals”.
Goal 16 urges substantial reductions in corruption and bribery and the development of effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels.
The UN Convention against Corruption, buttressed by its peer review mechanism, is mobilising action for honest, transparent, accountable governance, but far more is needed.
“On International Anti-Corruption Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to ending the deceit and dishonesty that threaten the 2030 Agenda.
“Let us also reaffirm our efforts to achieve peace and prosperity for all on a healthy planet,” the secretary-general said.
International Anti-Corruption Day has been observed annually on Dec. 9 since the passage of the UN Convention Against Corruption on Oct. 31, 2003.
The convention states, in part, that the UN is “concerned about the seriousness of problems and threats posed by corruption to the stability and security of societies”.
It added that corruption undermines “the institutions and values of democracy, ethical values and justice and jeopardising sustainable development and the rule of law”.
The UN delegates to the Convention the power to “promote and strengthen measures to prevent and combat corruption more efficiently and effectively”.
It also delegates to it the power to “promote, facilitate and support international cooperation and technical assistance in the prevention of and fight against corruption”.
In addition, the UN delegates to the Convention the power to “promote integrity, accountability and proper management of public affairs and public property”, among others. (NAN)