“Corruption is criminal, immoral and the ultimate betrayal of public trust. It is even more damaging in times of crisis – as the world is experiencing now with the COVID-19 pandemic. The response to the virus is creating new opportunities to exploit weak oversight and inadequate transparency, diverting funds away from people in their hour of greatest need.” – United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres
The 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. 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.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reversed decades of progress on development with poverty and inequality rising at a global scale. This pandemic is also leading to declines in global human development and could push further to extreme poverty, while corruption is undermining the efforts to respond and recover. As it is because of such situations that corruption thrives.
Corruption is a complex social, political, and economic phenomenon that affects all countries. It also 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.
The 2020 theme for the International Anti-Corruption Day is “Recover with Integrity” and it highlights that only by putting effective corruption mitigation measures in place will a better recovery be possible, while it also emphasizes that inclusive COVID-19 recovery can only be achieved with integrity. Reducing the risks of mismanagement and corruption during the pandemic requires the involvement of strong anti-corruption bodies, better oversight over emergency support packages, more open and transparent public procurement and enhanced anti-corruption compliance by the private sector.
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. Therefore, we urge young people to refuse to be corrupt and fight to break the Anti-Corruption chain.
To RECOVER with INTEGRITY, we need to stand #UnitedAgainstCorruption.