The theme of this year’s event is Breaking the chain of corruption, and it sends the message that fighting corruption starts with the individual. A positive and pro-active stance against corruption is the start of victory.
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.
Governments, the private sector, non-governmental organisations, the media and citizens around the world are joining forces to fight this crime.
The 2015 joint international campaign focuses on how corruption undermines democracy and the rule of law, leads to human rights violations, distorts markets, erodes quality of life and allows organised crime, terrorism and other threats to human security to flourish.
This is what UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has to say about today:
Global attitudes towards corruption have changed dramatically. Where once bribery, corruption and illicit financial flows were often considered part of the cost of doing business, today corruption is widely – and rightly – understood as criminal and corrosive. The new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, our plan to end poverty and ensure lives of dignity for all, recognises the need to fight corruption in all its aspects and calls for significant reductions in illicit financial flows as well as for the recovery of stolen assets.
Corruption has disastrous impacts on development when funds that should be devoted to schools, health clinics and other vital public services are instead diverted into the hands of criminals or dishonest officials.
Corruption exacerbates violence and insecurity. It can lead to dissatisfaction with public institutions, disillusion with government in general, and spirals of anger and unrest.
The United Nations Convention against Corruption provides a comprehensive platform for governments, non-governmental organisations, civil society, and individual citizens. Through prevention, criminalisation, international co-operation and assets recovery, the Convention advances global progress toward ending corruption.
On International Anti-Corruption Day, I call for united efforts to deliver a clear message around the world that firmly rejects corruption and embraces instead the principles of transparency, accountability and good governance. This will benefit communities and countries, helping to usher in a better future for all.