The International Anti-Corruption Day is observed every year on 9th of November. No country, region, or community is immune to corruption and on this day we aim to raise awareness on the forms of corruption and highlight the role of the United Nations Convention against Corruption in combating and preventing it. The United Nations Convention against Corruption is the only global anti-corruption instrument that contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda by fostering accountability, integrity, and transparency.
Corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. It also undermines democratic institutions, slows economic development, and contributes to governmental instability. Moreover, 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.
Hence, the 2021 theme for the International Anti-Corruption Day is “Your right, your role: Say no to corruption” and it highlights the rights and responsibilities of everyone (government officials, civil servants, law enforcement officers, media representatives, the private sector, civil society, academia, the public, and youth) in tackling corruption. Reducing the risks of mismanagement and corruption 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 all sectors.
We, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), are committed to ensure transparency, accountability, and continuous self-reflection throughout our processes, and we shall continue to promote the same principles to our members and young people worldwide. We believe that corruption is one of the biggest tragedies of mankind for the simple reason that it is ongoing and it has become 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 encourage them to fight and break this chain.
Corruption impacts the poorest and most vulnerable in society the hardest. Also, corruption is a complex social, political, and economic phenomenon that affects all countries. Hence, it is vital that young people speak out against this scourge, and continue to tackle corruption from every aspect of society.