Today is International Anti-Corruption Day. Let us discuss some facts regarding it.
What is fighting corruption?
Fighting corruption is a global concern because corruption is found in both rich and poor countries, and evidence shows that it hurts poor people disproportionately. It contributes to instability, poverty and is a dominant factor driving fragile countries towards state failure.
Who is fighting this?
Governments, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, the media, and citizens around the world are joining forces to fight this crime.
When do people observe International Anti-Corruption Day?
People all over the world observe International Anti-Corruption Day on December 9 every year since 2005. They do this to raise awareness against the global issue. People worldwide commemorate this day annually in recognition of the United Nations Convention against Corruption which was signed in Mexico in 2003.
The United Nations, which officially endorses International Anti-Corruption Day, says that this political, social, and economic phenomenon slows down economic development, undermines the sanctity of democracy, and adds to governmental instability.
The UN also lists corruption as one of the “biggest” hurdles to achieving its 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. It notes that although corruption exists in and affects both rich and poor nations, it hurts poor people disproportionately.
How did this anti-corruption day come into place?
In October 2003, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the UN Convention against Corruption. After this, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) was designated as the secretariat for the Convention’s Conference of States Parties. The assembly then designated December 9 as International Anti-Corruption Day.
What comes under corruption?
The UN convention overlooks multiple forms of corruption including:
- Trading in influence
- Abuse of functions
- Bribery of foreign public officials, national public officials, and officials of public international organizations.
Aim of International Anti-Corruption Day
This day provides an opportunity for political leaders, governments, legal bodies, and lobby groups to join forces against corruption. On this day anti-corruption advocates will engage the general public to effectively fight against corruption and fraud in communities.
Apart from raising awareness against the crime, the aim of the day is also to actively support campaigns that combat and prevent corruption. To this day, the UN also seeks to support international cooperation to fight against corruption.
In 2018, UN Secretary-General António Guterres had said that the global cost of corruption is at least $2.6 trillion, which is 5 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP).
He highlighted that according to the World Bank, businesses and individuals pay more than $1 trillion in bribes every year.