9 December – International Anti-Corruption Day, observed today, aims to raise awareness of corruption and its impact on society, and to call on all governments to take action to tackle this threat to economic development, democracy and stability. “In our globalised, highly interconnected world, corruption represents one of our greatest challenges. There is no country or territory untouched by this threat, which erodes democratic institutions and undermines the rule of law” said Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in a statement for International Anti-Corruption Day.
Although corruption is found in all countries, evidence shows that it affects poor people disproportionately. “The cost of corruption is measured not just in the billions of dollars of squandered or stolen government resources, but most poignantly in the absence of the hospitals, schools, clean water, roads and bridges that might have been built” said Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the UN, in the message of the day. In light of the efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of 2015, addressing corruption is urgent.
Governments, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, the media and citizens around the world are joining forces to fight this crime. The UN Development Program and the UNODC are at the forefront of these efforts to mobilize governments to ratify the UN Convention against Corruption.
Dorothee Gottwald, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer at the UNODC, discusses the relevency of corruption in the European Union today.
Dorothee Gottwald: “UNODC works with governments and the business community and civil society to make sure that the fight against corruption is a concerted effort.”