Anti-corruption efforts crucial to sustainable development, says UN chief

3 Nov 15

Ending corruption is critical to achieving sustainable development, the world’s largest anti-corruption forum heard yesterday.

The Sixth Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption ‒ which saw more than 1,000 participants gather in Russia’s St Petersburg when it opened yesterday ‒ heard from UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon and executive director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime Yury Fedotov.

“The world counts on you to take bold decisions and act decisively to strengthen the global fight against corruption and bribery,” Ban told delegates, while Fedotov said that corruption and bribery frustrate global ambitions and “devastate lives”.

Opening the conference, Fedotov said that corruption makes people’s lives more expensive, erodes consumer confidence and business credibility, depletes public funds and destroys the prospect of a fair society, as well as facilitating other crimes.

He said it was crucial to ensure that public resources go where they are supposed to go and to engage the private sector as a key partner in fighting corruption and achieving sustainable development outcomes.

“The 17 Sustainable Development Goals contain the promise of a better collective future for people and planet, and they address the potential challenges that can impede our progress. One such threat is highlighted in Goal 16, which calls for substantial reductions in corruption and bribery in all its forms,” he said.

Fedotov highlighted the UN’s Convention against Corruption, adopted in 2003 and currently holding 177 state signatories, as a vital part of achieving this aim.

Other speakers included Sergey Ivanov, the chief of staff of the executive office of Russia, who delivered the statement of president Vladimir Putin. 

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