Press Release

Secretary General calls for action by all to end scourge of corruption

Vienna - 9 December 2011 - As the world marks the International Anti-Corruption Day today, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on all individuals to act against the cancer of corruption.

"Although the poor may be marginalized by corruption, they will not be silenced. In events across the Arab world and beyond this year, ordinary people have joined their voices in denouncing corruption and demanding that governments combat this crime against democracy. Their protests have triggered changes on the international scene that could barely have been imagined just months previously," he said.

The United Nations is helping countries combat corruption as part of a broader, system-wide campaign to help bolster democracy and good governance. The UN Convention Against Corruption is a powerful tool in this fight.

Mr. Ban urged all governments that have not yet ratified the Convention to do so without delay, and said that companies can create a more transparent global economy through anti-corruption initiatives, including the work of the United Nations Global Compact.

In his own statement, UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, said, "Reductions in poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals are directly threatened by corruption. As a result, across the globe, on any day, at any given time, the hopes and aspirations of ordinary people are being ruined by corruption."

Mr. Fedotov went on to say that the StAR initiative under the Convention is ensuring that funds hidden abroad are repatriated, while development programs in countries of transition are helping ordinary people rebuild their lives and restore democratic institutions.

Since 2009, UNODC and the UN Development Programme have marked the day with a joint campaign; this year under the theme "ACT - Against Corruption Today". Through use of free campaign materials available online, UNODC and UNDP encourage NGOs and other civil society partners across the globe to help spread the message that prevention of corruption is the responsibility of everyone.

The theme embodies the Convention spirit which recognizes that preventing and countering corruption requires a multi-sectoral approach involving everyone, including civil society, NGOs, community based organizations and the media.

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Read UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov's Statement

Join the UNODC/UNDP Campaign: ACT - Against Corruption Today

Like the ACT Against Corruption Facebook Page

For further information, please contact:

Rebecca Wabwoba, Associate Information Officer: | T: (+43 1) 26060 5348 | E: rebecca.wabwoba{at}unodc.org

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