International Anti-Corruption Day is a unique opportunity for all of us to think about the devastating impact corruption has on so many lives. Corruption is the most talked about problem in the world - it is also the greatest threat our societies face today. A dirty tax on society’s most vulnerable people, corruption exacerbates poverty, inequality, and social instability. At the same time, it undermines common efforts to realise human rights and greater prosperity for all.
“It is incumbent upon all of us, politicians, government officials, business leaders, academics, civil society activists, and citizens to say no to corruption,” said Huguette Labelle, the Chair of Transparency International. “In 2013, we will seek renewed commitment to our shared vision of a world free from corruption.”
To address the toxic impact of corruption on their people, national governments have a duty to swiftly act upon the agenda set by, among others, the United Nations, G20, the Financial Stability Board and the OECD to make leaders more accountable, public sectors more transparent and deal with lapses of private sector integrity such as bribery, illicit trade and tax evasion. Governments must also enforce the UN, OECD and regional conventions, which provide powerful frameworks for making government work for the people.
No impunity for the corrupt should not be just a slogan, it should be dealt with by all of us with all our strength.
The pursuit of integrity and the need to bring business dealings out of back rooms into the public domain is more necessary than ever. Furthermore preventing corruption needs to be prioritised in efforts to eliminate poverty, inequality, human rights violations and social instability. Only by tackling corruption will we be able to effectively respond to these issues.
On International Anti-Corruption Day, 9 December 2012, anti-corruption activists around the world will hold public events to raise awareness about the need to wake up to corruption. Find out what is happening in your country here.