On the eve of International Anti-Corruption Day (9 December), a
one-day seminar on the theme You Can Stop Corruption - Your NO Counts! was organized on 8 Dec 2008, at UNDP Conference Hall, New Delhi, by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in collaboration with the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and the UN Information Centre for India and Bhutan.
Hon'ble Dr. A.P.J. Adbdul Kalam, former President of India, was the Chief Guest of the seminar. Mr. Pratyush Sinha, Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC), Government of India;
Mr. Ashwani Kumar, Director, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Government of India;
Mr. Timothy Lemay, Chief Governance-Human Security and Rule of Law Section, UNODC, were the key dignitaries present to support the initiative - You can Stop Corruption- Your NO Counts.
Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam,
in his inaugural address, congratulated UNODC ROSA for the initiatives to address corruption and interrelated issues. He discussed in detail the various possible approaches for removal of corruption. Dr. Kalam concluded by saying that a virtuous and courageous person can alone use the instrument of conscience. He or she can alone hear the inner voice of the soul clearly. In a wicked person this faculty is dead. The sensitive nature of his or her conscience has been destroyed by sin or corruption. Hence, he or she is unable to discriminate right from wrong. Those who are leading organizations, business enterprises, institutions and governments should develop this virtue of the ability to use their own conscience. This wisdom of using the clean conscience will enable them to enjoy the freedom and remove their anxiety and worries. Also, the citizens will soon get a corruption free service delivery system.
Mr. Pratyush Sinha, CVC, stressed that corruption is a complex phenomenon and the need of the hour is Zero Tolerance. He further added that mere creation of new institution is not the solution rather we have to use technology to add edge to existing institutions and regulations and to make the process more transparent and open.
Mr. Ashwani Kumar, Director CBI, in his address, stressed on the need for concerted efforts that are needed to strengthen the law enforcement agencies of the country through an effective legal support system.
Mr. Timothy Lemay, UNODC, underlined the fact that corruption attacks the foundation of democratic institutions by distorting democratic processes, preventing the rule of law and undermining economic development by discouraging foreign direct investment.
He assured that UNODC's technical assistance is not limited to supporting countries in meeting their legal obligations under the Convention but aims to support national counterparts in a much broader sense.The seminar brought together representatives of the major stakeholders to identify areas for further strengthening of anti-corruption measures.
The thematic sessions highlighted the following major issues:
- Addressing corruption in the public and private sector
- Access to information as a tool for fighting corruption
- E-governance as a tool to enhance transparency
The corrosive effect of corruption on institutions of governance, its impact on delivery of public services and poverty alleviation programmes, and the economic development process as a whole were the main issues raised during these thematic sessions. The panelists also dwelt at length on the rising trend of private sector corruption and its impact on the overall corruption template.
This was one of the
many events that were organized by the UNODC Regional Office for South Asia, on the occasion aimed at awareness building and advocacy to observe International Anti-Corruption Day.