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 ~ UN Secretary-General, António Guterres ~
Corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. No country, region, or community is immune. Corruption impacts the poorest and most vulnerable in society the hardest. It is ordinary citizens who suffer most when the corrupt steal funds intended for public services like infrastructure, healthcare and education, or take back-handers to award lucrative contracts to their cronies.
Corruption is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon that affects all countries. Corruption undermines democratic institutions, slows economic development and contributes to governmental instability. Corruption attacks the foundation of democratic institutions by distorting electoral processes, perverting the rule of law and creating bureaucratic quagmires whose only reason for existing is the soliciting of bribes. Economic development is stunted because foreign direct investment is discouraged and small businesses within the country often find it impossible to overcome the start-up costs required because of corruption.
International Anti-Corruption Day is observed every year on the 9th of November as a way of raising awareness of corruption and highlighting the role of the United Nations Convention against Corruption in combating and preventing it. The official reason given by the UN for creating this day is that it was concerned about the seriousness of problems and threats posed by corruption to the stability and security of societies, undermining the institutions and values of democracy, ethical values and justice and jeopardizing sustainable development and the rule of law.
Every year $1 trillion is paid in bribes while an estimated $2.6 trillion are stolen annually through corruption a sum equivalent to more than 5 per cent of the global GDP. In developing countries, according to the United Nations Development Programme, funds lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times the amount of official development assistance.
We at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY) believe that corruption is one of the biggest tragedies of mankind for the simple reason that it is ongoing and extremely difficult to combat, forcing the poor into ever more hopeless conditions while the select few in power get ever richer and more powerful.
Let us join efforts and have led to the adoption and implementation of a number of anti- corruption strategies across the region, to enhance capacities of specialised anti-corruption bodies, to improve criminal justice responses to investigation, prosecution and adjudication of serious corruption cases, and to better inter-agency and international cooperation in criminal matters and the recovery of stolen assets.
Therefore, we urge young people to refuse to be corrupt and fight to break the Anti- Corruption chain.