9 December 2010
Deputy Secretary-General

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Saying ‘No’ to Corruption Helps Promote Dignity, Equality, Opportunity for World’s


Poor, Says Deputy Secretary-General, in Remarks at Headquarters

Following are Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro’s remarks to the seventh meeting of the Global Compact Working Group on the Tenth Principle against Corruption in New York, 9 December:

Thank you all for joining us for this observance of this International Anti-Corruption Day.  The United Nations welcomes this important gathering of business, investors, civil society, government and United Nations representatives to tackle the problem of corruption.

I bring you warm greetings from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.  In the message he issued to mark this day, he urged the private sector to step up the fight against extortion, bribery and other corrupt practices.

He also called for corporations around the world to join the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative.  It is very encouraging to see so many companies present here today.  Your cooperation and collective desire to stem corruption set an important example for others.

Governments must be part of the solution.  Corruption erodes public trust in officials. Ending corruption is essential to promoting good governance, democracy and stability.

Corruption also undermines progress toward the Millennium Development Goals.  It may be difficult to see the link between an official accepting a bribe and a child missing a vaccination, but the connection is real.  Corruption steals resources from poverty eradication efforts.  It robs the hungry, feeds the unscrupulous and increases the cost of services like health and education.  The corrupt get richer and the poor remain trapped.

This conference room may seem far from the frontlines of global poverty, but by gathering here to say “no” to corruption you are helping to promote dignity, equality and opportunity for the world’s poor.

I welcome the launch of the Anti-Corruption E-Learning Programme by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the Global Compact.  The programme dramatizes situations in which real people can find themselves, and offers clear lessons on the right course of action.

It is just one of many initiatives the United Nations is carrying out with key partners like Transparency International, the International Chamber of Commerce and the World Economic Forum.

At the same time, the United Nations is doing everything possible to promote an ethical organizational culture across our system.  We are putting in place new measures to ensure individual and managerial accountability, working with law enforcement officials, and investigating all possible instances of corruption that may arise in the course of our activities.

Working together, we can protect resources from falling into corrupt hands — and instead ensure that they contribute to a better life for the honest but struggling people of our world.

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For information media • not an official record