TODAY -

Unite against corruption for development

Ranjan K Baruah *



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.

Corruption is a common word in a country like India. Whether we agree or not but it has become an integral part in India. Many may not agree but the fact remains the same that it has impacted each and every one of us.

The difference is few have benefitted from it where as majority suffers for the same. It is a form of dishonesty or criminal activity undertaken by a person or organization entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire illicit benefit.

Corruption can occur on different scales. It ranges from small favours between a small number of people to corruption that affects the government on a large scale and corruption that is so prevalent that it is part of the everyday structure of society, including corruption as one of the symptoms of organized crime.

It is a multifarious social, political and economic phenomenon that affects all countries. It weakens democratic institutions, slows economic development and contributes to governmental instability.

The United Nations Convention against Corruption is the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument. The Convention’s far-reaching approach and the mandatory character of many of its provisions make it a unique tool for developing a comprehensive response to a global problem.

Corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. No country, region or community is immune. This year UNODC and UNDP have developed a joint global campaign, focusing on how corruption affects education, health, justice, democracy, prosperity and development.

On 31 October 2003, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention against Corruption and requested that the Secretary-General designate the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as secretariat for the Convention’s Conference of States Parties (resolution 58/4).

The Assembly also designated 9 December as International Anti-Corruption Day, to raise awareness of corruption and of the role of the Convention in combating and preventing it. The Convention entered into force in December 2005.

António Guterres, Secretary-General of United Nations on his message said that “corruption is present in all countries, rich and poor, North and South; it is an assault on the values of the United Nations. It robs societies of schools, hospitals and other vital services, drives away foreign investment and strips nations of their natural resources; it undermines the rule of law and abets crimes such as the illicit trafficking of people, drugs and arms.”

“Corruption begets more corruption, and fosters a corrosive culture of impunity. The United Nations Convention against Corruption is among our primary tools for advancing the fight. Sustainable Development Goal 16 and its targets also offer a template for action”, he added.

There is no shadow of doubt that corruption attacks the foundation of democratic institutions by distorting electoral processes, perverting the rule of law and creating bureaucratic problem whose only reason for existing is the soliciting of bribes.

On the other hand to reduce or stop the same, governments, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, the media and citizens around the world are joining forces to fight this crime. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) are at the forefront of these efforts.

In India, many efforts are there but we have not been able to stop corruption in the country after different efforts or initiatives from governments or civil society. Ending corruption is like a unsolved dream but there is nothing impossible on earth if we are committed to stop it from individual level and each and every one must participate to stop corruption and bring more development.


With direct inputs from UN publication


* Ranjan K Baruah wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer can be contacted at bkranjan(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on January 09, 2019.



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