Dismantle corruption’s high walls: UN chief


In his message for the International Anti-Corruption Day-2014, being observed on December 9, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “To dismantle corruption’s high walls, I urge every nation to ratify and implement the UN Convention against Corruption. Its ground breaking measures in the areas of prevention, criminalization, international cooperation and asset recovery have made important inroads, but there is much more to do.”

The UN has urged the world community to adpot the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) as the legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument. According to the UN, the provisions of UNCAC make it a unique tool for developing a comprehensive response to a global problem of corruption since it covers five main areas, namely, prevention, criminalization and law enforcement measures, international cooperation, asset recovery, and technical assistance and information exchange. India is also a signatory to the United Nations Convention against Corruption that covers a wide range of acts of corruption and also proposes certain preventive policies.

“The UNCAC covers many different forms of corruption, such as trading in influence, abuse of power, and various acts of corruption in the private sector. A further significant development was the inclusion of a specific chapter of the Convention dealing with the recovery of assets, a major concern for countries that pursue the assets of former leaders and other officials accused or found to have engaged in corruption. The rapidly growing number of States that have become parties to the Convention is further proof of its universal nature and reach,” informs the UN.

According to Transparency International, corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain that hurts everyone who depends on the integrity of people in a position of authority. “The 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index shows that economic growth is undermined and efforts to stop corruption fade when leaders and high level officials abuse power to appropriate public funds for personal gain,” said Jose Ugaz, the chair of Transparency International.

“Corrupt officials smuggle ill-gotten assets into safe havens through offshore companies with absolute impunity,” Ugaz added. “Countries at the bottom need to adopt radical anti-corruption measures in favour of their people. Countries at the top of the index should make sure they don’t export corrupt practices to underdeveloped countries,” said TI in its latest release.

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