United Nations has called Governments of all countries to make serious and sincere efforts in their fight to make the world corruption free.
Corruption and complicity know no geographical boundaries, and it is society’s most vulnerable who get hurt the most, senior United Nations officials said on Wednesday, calling on Government leaders to fight the scourge, “from the top down”.
“It all begins with setting an example. By tackling corruption, Governments can show they mean business,” said Secretary-General António Guterres, speaking at a high-level event marking the 15th anniversary of the UN Convention Against Corruption.
“Society cannot function equitably and efficiently when public officials – from doctors to police, judges and politicians – enrich themselves rather than perform their duties with integrity,” he added.
Adopted in 2003, the Convention Against Corruption is the only legally-binding universal instrument, drawn up to fight corruption in all its forms.
In his remarks, Mr. Guterres also underlined that in addition to robbing vital resources from public services such as schools and hospitals, corruption also fuels human trafficking and the black market in natural resources, weapons, drugs and cultural artifacts.
“It fuels conflict, and when a hard-won peace is achieved, corruption undermines recovery. Corruption and impunity are corrosive, breeding frustration and fostering further corruption when people see no other way of achieving their goals,” said the UN chief, calling for greater political and popular support for the fight against corruption.
He described the Convention Against Corruption as one of the most effective tools the world has to achieve the common goals of good governance, stability and prosperity.
“The UN will continue to support Member States every step of the way, from helping to engage and empower citizens in this fight, to helping build and enhance institutions that can deliver on their promise,” said Mr. Guterres.