"Corruption affects all, even the corrupt ones", says UNODC Representative in international workshop against corruption

Brasília, 20 March 2014 - a "Corruption affects everyone, even the corrupt ones", said the Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Rafael Franzini, during the International Workshop to Counter Corruption, held yesterday at the Chamber of Deputies in the Brazilian capital. Under the theme "The role of the State in fighting corruption", the participants discussed the effectiveness of laws and mechanisms currently available to fight this crime, highlighting the importance of the UN Convention against Corruption.

Representative of the UNODC Liaison and Partnership Office in Brazil, Franzini said that corruption is a crime that affects everyone because it represents one of the greatest obstacles to economic and social development in the world, contributing to instability and poverty, discouraging investors and hindering the creation of small businesses, besides corrupting democratic institutions and threatening the rule of law.

According to some estimates, every year US$ 1 trillion is paid in bribes and about US$ 2.6 trillion are stolen through corruption. This sum is equivalent to more than 5% of the global GDP. According to the United Nations Program for Development (UNDP), funds lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times the amount of official development assistance.

Franzini also highlighted the long-standing partnership with the Brazilian Office of the Comptroller General (CGU) and praised awarded initiatives such as the Transparency Portal and the Public Expenditure Observatory, which put Brazil as a leader in the fight against corruption and a reference for best practices in the region. He also stressed the importance of increasing the visibility of this crime, through initiatives such as the International Anti-Corruption Day, celebrated on 9 December.

The panel also included the Minister of CGU, Jorge Hage; the former Minister of the Supreme Court, Carlos Ayres Britto; Oslain Campos Santana, from the Federal Police; Geraldo Magela Siqueira, from the Central Bank; Douglas Fischer, from the Federal Public Ministry; Luciano Costa Ramos, from the National Council of General Attorneys of Accounts; and judge Márlon Reis, from the Movement to Counter Electoral Corruption.

The seminar was conducted through a partnership between the Chamber of Deputies and the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC). The Brazilian Chapter of GOPAC was established last year in the National Congress, with a focus on actions to combat corruption.

* With information from Agência Câmara Notícias

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