To win the fight against corruption is to create the conditions necessary to effectively combat poverty and the inequalities that stem from it.
This was the message by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) on Monday, December 9, as the world marked the International Anti-Corruption Day.
In a press statement, the United Nations called for serious legal action against corrupt individuals in order to protect society’s rights on accessing resources and opportunities.
The International Anti-Corruption Day was marked under the theme “United against Corruption”
Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of UNODC, reminded the world that corruption affects people in their daily lives, erodes trust in public institutions and compromises the social contract which, hence, thwarts 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,”
Fedotov said notable progress has been made in the past fifteen years on the criminalisation of corruption and the recovery and return of stolen assets, thanks to the almost universally-ratified United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).
“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,” he said.
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.
In building inclusive momentum for this key occasion, Fedotov made a case for listening 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,” he noted.
In Rwanda, the country marked the day by hosting the Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Anti-Corruption Excellence Award.
President Paul Kagame and Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar used the occasion to unveil an anti-corruption monument in Kigali.