CORRUPTION IS A CRIME which thrives in the shadows, and transparency and accountability are the best ways to fight it, say United Nations officials on the eve of International Anti-Corruption Day on December 9, Monday.
“Corruption is a crime against development which thrives in the shadows. International Anti-Corruption Day is an opportunity to shed light on the damage it does, and to reaffirm our commitment to act against it,” said United Nations Development Programme administrator Helen Clarke in a message posted at the International Anti-Corruption Day website here.
“Preventing and combating corruption requires transparency and accountability at all levels,” Clark said. “Taking back what was lost to corrupt practices is everyone’s responsibility – governments and civil society organizations, the private sector and the media, the general public, and youth who will play a pivotal role in seeing this agenda through so that their future is built on solid and honest foundations.”
“I encourage each of you to act against corruption today, to shine a light on those shadows, so that we can move together towards a better world,” Clark added.
International Anti-Corruption Day is an initiative spearheaded by the UNDP and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime as a means to focus the global fight against corruption and enlist the assistance of civil society groups and the citizenry. In the Philippines, the UN activity on International Anti-Corruption Day will be highlighted by a forum organized by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism entitled Pork and Other Perks: The Citizens’ To-Do Tasks for 2014 and Beyond. The forum seeks to draw proposals and commitments from the citizenry on how they intend to monitor the use of lump sum funds following a series of scandals on the use of the pork barrel funds.
The PCIJ forum will be held at Annabel’s Restaurant in Tomas Morato Quezon City from 9am to 5pm. Public finance and legal experts will give lectures on the pork barrel and pork-like funds in the morning, while CSOs, citizen journalists, and bloggers will share ideas on how to guard the pork in the afternoon.
At the same time UNODC Executive Director Yuy Fedotov called on countries that have still not ratified the UN Convention against Corruption to affix their signatures on the 10 year old document.
“With 164 States parties, UNCAC is close to universal adherence. Calls have been made by all major fora, including the UN General Assembly, the G8 and the G20, encouraging countries that have not yet ratified or acceded to the Convention to do so. Today, I strongly urge the international community to maintain this momentum and the remaining 30 Member States of the UN to adopt the Convention as soon as possible,” Fedotov said. “However, adoption is only the first milestone. If we are to be truly successful in the fight against corruption, every State must fully implement the Convention. Anti-corruption words, must be supported by anti-corruption deeds.”