United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres and United Nations (UN) Office on Drugs and Crime Executive Director Yury Fedotov have urged people globally to keep working on innovative solutions to win the battle against corruption and to ensure that precious resources serve the peoples of the world.
Guterres and Fedotov spoke on Monday through different messages as part of activities marking the International Anti-Corruption Day.
The statements were issued by the National Project Officer, Outreach and Communications, UNODC Nigeria Country Office, Abuja Sylvester Tunde Atere.
The UN Secretary-General said: “Every year, trillions of dollars – the equivalent of more than five per cent of global Gross Domestic Product – are paid in bribes or stolen through corrupt practices that seriously undermine the rule of law and abet crimes such as the illicit trafficking of people, drugs and arms.
“Tax evasion, money laundering and other illicit flows divert much-needed resources from schools, hospitals and essential infrastructure; funds that are essential to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals.
“People are right to be angry. Corruption threatens the well-being of our societies, the future of our children and the health of our planet. It must be fought by all, for all.
“And as in their mobilisation for ambitious climate action and fair globalisation, it is inspiring to see young people demanding accountability and justice as a way to address and eradicate corrupt practices.”
The UN Secretary-General urged the people to unite against corruption to stop the drain on resources caused by illicit financial flows.
He added: “The United Nations Convention against Corruption, ratified by nearly every country in the world, gives us the means to strengthen our commitment to addressing this issue.
“Later this month, Governments will meet in Abu Dhabi to review progress and prepare for the first-ever General Assembly Special Session on combatting corruption, which will take place in 2021. I call on them to take decisive action to make the fight against corruption a top priority.
“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. “
Yuriv, in his statement, said: “Corruption affects people in their daily lives. It bars them from accessing resources and opportunities. It erodes trust in public institutions and compromises the social contract. In doing so, corruption thwarts our attempts at building a better world.”