Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for International Anti-Corruption Day, observed on 9 December:
Global attitudes towards corruption have changed dramatically. Where once bribery, corruption and illicit financial flows were often considered part of the cost of doing business, today corruption is widely — and rightly — understood as criminal and corrosive. The new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, our plan to end poverty and ensure lives of dignity for all, recognizes the need to fight corruption in all its aspects and calls for significant reductions in illicit financial flows as well as for the recovery of stolen assets.
Corruption has disastrous impacts on development when funds that should be devoted to schools, health clinics and other vital public services are instead diverted into the hands of criminals or dishonest officials. Corruption exacerbates violence and insecurity. It can lead to dissatisfaction with public institutions, disillusion with government in general, and spirals of anger and unrest.
The United Nations Convention against Corruption provides a comprehensive platform for Governments, non-governmental organizations, civil society and individual citizens. Through prevention, criminalization, international cooperation and assets recovery, the Convention advances global progress toward ending corruption.
On International Anti-Corruption Day, I call for united efforts to deliver a clear message around the world that firmly rejects corruption and embraces instead the principles of transparency, accountability and good governance. This will benefit communities and countries, helping to usher in a better future for all.