“Corruption affects people in their daily lives. It bars them from accessing resources and opportunities. It erodes trust in public institutions and compromises the social contract. In doing so, corruption thwarts our attempts at building a better world,” said Yury Fedotov, Executive Director, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
In his message on the International Anti-Corruption Day (9 December 2019), Fedotov said that notable progress has been made in the past fifteen years on the criminalization of corruption and the recovery and return of stolen assets, thanks to the almost universally ratified United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).
For ten years now, he added, implementation of the Convention has benefited from a unique peer-review mechanism, serving as a trigger for countries to launch legislative action, strengthen their institutions, and increase cooperation.
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As we enter a decade of ambitious action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on time, stepping up efforts to eradicate corruption and promote good governance is essential if we are to deliver on our global pledge to leave no one behind. To win the fight against corruption is to create the conditions necessary to effectively combat poverty and the inequalities that stem from it, Fedotov suggested.
The UNODC helps the international community to translate the Convention into effective action and advance the global anti-corruption agenda. An important part of this is assisting preparations for the first-ever UN General Assembly special session against corruption in 2021.
“We must capture the full potential of innovation in the fight against corruption, harnessing technology for monitoring, reporting, raising awareness, and countering those who exploit it to enable their crimes,” Fedotov said in his message. “We cannot afford to let corruption threaten our future.”
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