Combating Corruption is a Critical Step Toward Achieving Inclusive Sustainable Development

Corruption permeates throughout society, eroding people’s faith in leaders and institutions, according to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, on Monday at an anti-corruption summit, emphasizing that putting greed before necessity will affect everyone. 

He warned countries engaging in COVID-19 recovery against the diversion of crucial resources by criminal opportunists in a video address to the Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption (CoSP9) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. 

 The UN head believes that corruption deepens disparities, feeds cynicism, and reinforces barriers faced by women and girls and that combating it is a critical step toward inclusive, sustainable development. 

He highlighted the conference as a chance to improve cooperation and speed up global anti-corruption efforts. 

Corruption jeopardizes progress, security, and everyone’s rights. It undermines public confidence in systems and institutions. 

Corruption costs the globe trillions of dollars every year, at a time when every dollar is required to boost public investment. Africa alone loses more than $88 billion in capital flight each year. 

Lack of openness and accountability in institutions denies people fair access to justice, health, and other services, stifling competition, rising costs, and jeopardizing delivery. 

Furthermore, corruption aids criminals, traffickers, and terrorists by allowing criminal proceeds to find safe havens, diverting funding to terrorists, and creating trafficking gateways. 

The influence of corruption on societies has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exacerbated vulnerabilities and posed a threat to responses. 

It has raised the stakes for including anti-corruption measures in replies, and it should serve as a global wake-up call to stand up for integrity. 

Corruption is fought at all levels of government, and it spreads to organizations, businesses, communities, and individuals. 

At the top, leaders and government members must demonstrate resolute political will in order to mobilize the required resources. 

This event and its findings have the potential to strengthen political will and reinforce the global community’s shared obligation to combat corruption. 

However, institutions in the frontline of the struggle, from law enforcement to financial investigation units and the judiciary, must be empowered, remain impartial, and be given the resources they require. 

Corruption is a transnational crime that necessitates increased international cooperation by removing the roadblocks that obstruct results. 

Businesses may help prevent corruption by committing to fair competition and safeguarding supply chains, while civil society can help maintain accountability and the media can help by reporting with honesty. 

Ordinary folks are at the center of responses as change agents and must be protected against corruption. 

To ensure a more equitable future for everybody, women must be empowered in positions of leadership to disrupt entrenched cycles and institutions of corruption. 

Despite having the energy and commitment to effect change, the world’s 1.8 billion young people are denied opportunity and hope in the absence of integrity. 

In light of this, the UNODC has launched the Global Resource for Anti-Corruption Education and Youth Empowerment (GRACE) project to help young people realize their full potential. 

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