UN chief calls on world to reject corruption

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UNITED NATIONS, (Xinhua) — On International Anti-Corruption Day, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday called for united efforts to deliver a clear message around the world that firmly rejects corruption, according to Ban’s message.

“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,” said Ban in his message to mark the day.

Ban noted that global attitudes toward 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,” he said.

Corruption has a disastrous impact 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, he said.

Stressing that “corruption exacerbates violence and insecurity,” Ban said: “It can lead to dissatisfaction with public institutions, disillusion with government in general, and spirals of anger and unrest.”

Moreover, Ban pointed out that the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, “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.”

According to Ban, 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,” he said.

On Oct. 31 2003, the UN General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention against Corruption. The Assembly also designated Dec. 9 as International Anti-Corruption Day, to raise awareness of corruption and of the role of the Convention in combating and preventing it. The Convention entered into force in December 2005.

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