Corruption, an assault on United Nations' values: Guterres


11 Dec 2018

Trillions of dollars paid in bribes every year: UN Secretary-General

Trillions of dollars, equivalent to more than 5% of global GDP, are paid in bribes or stolen through corruption every year, according to the United Nations.

In a message on the International Anti-Corruption Day, which is observed every December 9, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres deemed corruption as "an assault on the values of the United Nations".

International Anti-Corruption Day has been observed annually since 2003.

$2.6 trillion stolen every year due to corruption

Guterres said, "Corruption robs societies of schools, hospitals, and other vital services, drives away foreign investment and strips nations of their natural resources." $1 trillion are paid in bribes annually, while another $2.6 trillion are stolen; all due to corruption.


Corruption, one of the biggest impediments to achieving SDGs

Corruption, one of the biggest impediments to achieving SDGs

The UN is fighting the global scourge through initiatives like the global campaign launched jointly by the UN Development Program (UNDP) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The campaign recognizes corruption as one of the biggest impediments to achieving the SDGs, or 2030 Sustainable Development Goals agreed by all nations of the world in 2015, to advance the whole of humankind.

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Communities asked to use #UnitedAgainstCorruption under the campaign

To counter that pernicious reality, the campaign is asking communities to use the Anti-Corruption logo during related events, and highlight community actions related to the day on social platforms by using hashtag #UnitedAgainstCorruption and tagging @UNDP, @UNODC.

Government officials, civil society, the private sector, and anti-corruption advocates can reference the campaign's "Call to Action Matrix" which offers recommendations for strategies to stand against corruption.

Fight against corruption

UN Convention covers the full spectrum of corruption

Additionally, the United Nations Convention against Corruption, adopted in 2003, exists as the only legally-binding, universal anti-corruption instrument.

Its far-reaching approach covers the full spectrum of corruption, and a vast majority of Member States, 186, are parties to the Convention.

Guterres called the Convention a "primary tool" for advancing the fight and highlighted the positive outcomes made possible through its implementation.

Acknowledging efforts

Combating corruption is necessary to protect human rights: Yury Fedotov

"Through the Convention's peer review mechanism, we can work together to build a foundation of trust and accountability," said the UN chief.

The international community has recognized that combating corruption is necessary for preventing and addressing the root causes of conflict, building peace and protecting human rights, said UN Office on Drugs and Crime executive director Yury Fedotov.

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