– David Cameron, UK Prime Minister, at the Ending Poverty event in New York, 24 September
In countries where more than 60 per cent of the population pay bribes to access public services, more women die in childbirth, fewer people have access to clean water and illiteracy rates among young people are higher.
These facts make it clear that transparent, accountable and inclusive institutions are vital if we are to end poverty and protect the planet.
At an event at Ford Foundation yesterday in New York, Transparency International and the UK government took this argument one step further, calling on the United Nations to adopt a governance goal for its post-2015 development priorities.
Transparency International research shows how weak governance contributes to the proliferation of poverty, revealing a strong correlation between the rate of bribery and several key development indicators.
– Transparency International Chair Huguette Labelle, in New York
In order to deliver long-term dignity and well-being to all, governments, companies and civil society must collaborate to strengthen transparency and accountability; as well as promote open societies, a free media and freedom of expression, and the rule of law. They should also join forces to implement anti-corruption measures that enable effective and inclusive economic, social and political institutions.
In 2000 when the UN launched its ambitious Millennium Development Goals to eradicate poverty and improve health and education, it set targets over a 15-year period in eight key areas. Several of these goals will be reached before the deadline but others, including the goal to reduce maternal mortality and improve literacy, will not.
Sustainable Development Goals will be agreed at the UN in September 2015, defining global and national policies while committing governments until 2030.
The governance goal has significant support and continues to gain traction. In a public opinion poll, over 4 million people identified an “honest and responsive government” as one of their top four development priorities. Last year, a UN high-level panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda recommended a goal on good governance.
Young people around the world tell their governments what they would like done to eradicate corruption and poverty:
- Read UK Prime Minister David Cameron's opening speech here.
- Read UN Development Programme Administrator Helen Clark's opening speech here.
Editor's note: On 23 January 2015, the attached PDF containing the text of the statement was updated to include additional signatories.
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