UN urges countries to fight `cancer` of corruption

UN Secretary General has asked nations to join forces in fighting the "cancer of corruption" which he says breeds inequality and injustice.

United Nations: In a reference to the people`s
revolutionary movements against corruption in the Middle East
and countries like India, UN Secretary General has
asked nations to join forces in fighting the "cancer of
corruption" which he says breeds inequality and injustice.

Ban, in his message on the occasion of `International
Anti-Corruption Day`, observed annually on December 9, said
the poor and vulnerable sections of society may be
"marginalised" by corruption, but they cannot 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 back.

In India, social activist Anna Hazare`s months-long
anti-corruption crusade not only saw massive support across
the country but was applauded by people worldwide.

Ban said everyone has a "responsibility to take action
against the cancer of corruption," which afflicts all
countries, undermining social progress and breeding inequality
and injustice.

"When desperately needed development funds are stolen by
corrupt individuals and institutions, poor and vulnerable
people are robbed of the education, health care and other
essential services," the Secretary General said.

He urged all governments that have not yet done so to
ratify the UN Convention against Corruption, which he called a
"powerful" tool in the fight against the scourge.

He also called on businesses to adopt anti-corruption
measures in line with the convention, noting that the private
sector, too, stands to gain from effective action.

"On this International Anti-Corruption Day, let us pledge
to do our part by cracking down on corruption, shaming those
who practise it and engendering a culture that values ethical
behaviour," Ban said.

According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, no country,
region or community is immune to corruption, which is a
"serious crime that can undermine social and economic
development".

This year UNODC and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) have developed a joint global campaign, focusing on how corruption hinders efforts to achieve the internationally agreed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and impacts education, health, justice, democracy, prosperity and development.

PTI