Secretary General’s Message on Anti-Corruption Day, 2018
Corruption is present in all countries, whether rich or poor, north or south.
This is an attack on the values of the United Nations.
It robs societies of schools, hospitals, and other vital services, drives away foreign investment, and robs nations of their natural resources.
It undermines the rule of law and encourages the commission of crimes such as the illicit trafficking of people, drugs and arms.
Tax evasion, money laundering and other illicit flows divert resources that are badly needed for sustainable development.
The World Economic Forum estimates the cost of corruption at at least $ 2.6 trillion, or 5% of the world’s gross domestic product.
According to the World Bank, companies and individuals pay more than $ 1 trillion in bribes each year.
Corruption breeds more corruption and fosters a destructive culture of impunity.
The United Nations Convention against Corruption is one of the main instruments at our disposal to advance in this fight.
Sustainable Development Goal 16 and its targets also provide guidelines for action.
Through the peer review mechanism provided in the Convention, we can work together to lay the foundation for trust and accountability. It is in our power to educate and empower citizens, promote transparency and strengthen international cooperation to recover stolen assets.
Millions of people around the world have gone to the polls this year with corruption as one of their top priorities. On International Day Against Corruption, let’s take a firm stand for integrity.