On December 9, many took to social media platforms marking International Anti-Corruption Day, and urging people to turn to transparent practices.
"On the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day, let us resolve to be honest and inspire others to do the same.InternationalAntiCorruptionDay," tweeted Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. Many others have echoed similar comments, and the topic is now trending on social media.
While this is an ongoing issue spanning across the world, the UN emphasises that the aftermath may be far worse in 2021. With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to rage, global leaders have expressed concern about exploitative practices that may mean the difference between life and death.
"The response to the virus is creating new opportunities to exploit weak oversight and inadequate transparency, diverting funds away from people in their hour of greatest need," the UN website quotes Secretary-General António Guterres as saying. The UN is currently running a campaign to urge nations to "Recover with Integrity".
The United Nations (UN) is assisting countries and communities to address the underlying causes of corruption that is estimated to cost $2.6 trillion annually. The United Nations Convention against Corruption is the only global anti-corruption instrument that contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda by fostering accountability, integrity, and transparency. These principles are critical in times of crisis -- in and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UN has also set up a Global Task Force on Corruption, co-chaired by UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which reinforces a One-UN approach to support countries in preventing and addressing corruption. Or look to an initiative by the UNDP, the World Health Organisation, and the Global Fund to strengthen integrity in health systems and promote universal health coverage.
UNDP’s new Strategic Plan 2022-2025 commits the organisation to help shape inclusive state institutions resilient to corruption and abuse of power, founded upon the principles of integrity, transparency, and accountability.
International Anti-Corruption Day: History, significance
Corruption is not a new word for most of us, having encountered it in some or the other form over the years. International Anti-Corruption Day has been marked for over a decade on December 9, in a bid to raise awareness and give fresh impetus to anti-corruption efforts. It is an UN Observance, that came into place with the passage of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in 2003. The Convention entered into force on 14th December 2005 with around 140 signatories.
According to the UN website, the Convention spans five areas, namely, preventive measures, criminalization and law enforcement, international cooperation, asset recovery, and technical assistance and information exchange. The Convention covers many different forms of corruption, such as bribery, trading in influence, abuse of functions, and various acts of corruption in the private sector.