Bangkok (Thailand), 9 December 2010 - On 9 December people around the world commemorated International Anti-Corruption Day and colleagues, working in the East Asia and the Pacific Region, were no exception.
In Thailand, International Anti-Corruption Day followed on the heels of the 14 International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC), held November 10 to 13, 2010. The event was hosted by the Royal Thai Government and the National Anti-Corruption Commission and organized by Transparency International and Transparency Thailand.
The IACC is the world premier forum that brings together heads of state, civil society, the private sector and more to tackle the increasingly sophisticated challenges posed by corruption. This years event, with the title "Restoring Trust: Global Action for Transparency" was no exception, and UNODC colleagues participated in plenary sessions and workshops panels.
During opening ceremony, Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State of the United States of America, who addressed the conference via a video message, said that: "When corruption infects the political system it shakes citizens' faith in the very promise of democracy."
By engaging in such a world class forum, UNODC supports a positive and pro-active stance against corruption. As the custodian of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, the organization promoted, throughout the conference, the Convention as the key tool to fight corruption worldwide, and as the impetus for a global and forceful movement.
An exhibition, detailing Thailand's counter-corruption efforts, was also launched during the conference by Abhisit Vejjajiva, Prime Minister of Thailand. The exhibition demonstrated that corruption is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon that needs a range of anti-corruption measures, policies and institutions to counter it.
In Thailand, UNODC has been engaged in strengthening the capacity of anti-corruption institution such as the National Anti-Corruption Commission.
Speaking on the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day 2010, Gary Lewis, UNODC Regional Representative for East Asia and the Pacific said that: "Corruption poses a consistent threat to our efforts to promote human development and security. We must tackle corruption in order to protect our citizens, institutions and natural resources."