United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has urged the "people everywhere to continue to work on innovative solutions to win the battle against corruption and to ensure that precious resources serve the peoples of the world," on the eve of UN's Intentional Anti-Corruption Day being observed globally today (December 9).
"Every year, trillions of dollars - the equivalent of more than five percent of global Gross Domestic Product - are paid in bribes or stolen through corrupt practices that seriously undermine the rule of law and abet crimes such as the illicit trafficking of people, drugs and arms," the UN chief in his message on the International Anti-Corruption Day.
"Tax evasion, money laundering and other illicit flows divert much-needed resources from schools, hospitals and essential infrastructure; funds that are essential to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals.
People are right to be angry. Corruption threatens the well-being of our societies, the future of our children and the health of our planet. It must be fought by all, for all. And as in their mobilization for ambitious climate action and a fair globalization, it is inspiring to see young people demanding accountability and justice as a way to address and eradicate corrupt practices.
We must unite against corruption to stop the drain on resources caused by illicit financial flows. The United Nations Convention against Corruption, ratified by nearly every country in the world, gives us the means to strengthen our commitment to addressing this issue.
Later this month, Governments will meet in Abu Dhabi to review progress and prepare for the first-ever General Assembly Special Session on combating corruption, which will take place in 2021. I call on them to take decisive action to make the fight against corruption a top priority.
On this International Day, I urge people everywhere to continue to work on innovative solutions to win the battle against corruption and to ensure that precious resources serve the peoples of the world," he said.
According to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), funds lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times the amount of official development assistance.
The International Anti-Corruption Day is taking place at a time when the state institutions in Pakistan have launched a drive against corruption. Several corruption cases against the bigwigs are pending in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and superior judiciary.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has repeatedly reiterated to "bring back looted money to the tune of billions of dollars stashed in foreign banks," while leaders from opposition leaders are accusing his government of witch hunting, an allegation the PM and his government strongly deny.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2019