“United Against Corruption” as 43% of world states plagued with corruption

“United Against Corruption” as 43% of world states plagued with corruption
09 / 12 / 2019
بقلم Marwa Nassar - -
The global campaign “United Against Corruption” campaign aims at combating corruption which is one of the biggest obstacles hampering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The International IDEA’s Global State of Democracy 2019 report has revealed that 43 percent of countries globally still have high levels of corruption impeding human development.

The report also highlighted significant declines, rather than progress, in a majority of SDG 16 indicators.

In many countries, there is still a huge gap between the existing anti-corruption laws, policies and institutions, and their effectiveness. Addressing the issues of money laundering and illicit financial flows, and ensuring transparency in beneficial ownership and ethics and compliance in both public and private sectors, continue to pose demanding challenges.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Gutterres said “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.”
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 Program, funds lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times the amount of official development assistance.
Yury Fedotov, United Nations Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said corruption affects people in their daily lives. It bars them from accessing resources and opportunities. It erodes trust in public institutions and compromises the social contract. In doing so, corruption thwarts our 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,” he added.
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.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) helps the international community to translate the Convention into effective action and advance the global anti-corruption agenda. An important part of this is assisting preparations for the first-ever UN General Assembly special session against corruption in 2021.
“In building inclusive momentum for this key occasion, we have to listen to the voices of young people who are demanding transparency and moving the dial by taking action in their communities. We must capture the full potential of innovation in the fight against corruption, harnessing technology for monitoring, reporting, raising awareness and countering those who exploit it to enable their crimes.”

A new generation of change-makers needs to place accountability and integrity at the center of global leadership across business, politics, media and civil society. Mobilizing and empowering #YouthForJustice is key for ensuring sustainable solutions to combating corruption.

“We cannot afford to let corruption threaten our future. Standing united against corruption, we are standing up for justice, protecting the rule of law and increasing the chances that prosperity in our societies can be enjoyed by all.”

SDG 16 gives us a tremendous opportunity to integrate anti-corruption policies in the national development agendas. Increased investments on SDG 16 will significantly help strengthen the overall ethics and integrity infrastructure in a country, including credible electoral processes and strong political parties, parliaments, anti-corruption institutions, judiciaries, media and civil society organizations. These investments will help countries move from transparency to accountability – ensuring transparency is not only important, but also that accountability requires making those in power answerable for their actions, sanctioning when necessary and addressing impunity.

Corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. No country, region or community is immune. But everyone can take part in the fight against corruption.

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