Pervasive corruption costs $2.6 trillion; disproportionately affects ‘poor and vulnerable’ says UN chief

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

Corruption is present in all countries, “rich and poor, North and South, developed and developing,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres told the Security Council on Monday, at a session on tackling corruption for the sake of peace and international security.

“Numbers show the startling scope of the challenge,” the UN chief said on Monday, citing World Economic Forum estimates that corruption costs at least $2.6 trillion – or five per cent of global gross domestic product.

And according to the World Bank, businesses and individuals pay more than $1 trillion in bribes each year.

Mr. Guterres elaborated saying that corruption:

  • Robs schools, hospitals and others of vitally needed funds.
  • Rots institutions, as officials enrich themselves or ignore criminality.
  • Deprives people of their rights and drives away foreign investment and despoils the environment.
  • Breeds disillusion with government and governance – often at the root of political dysfunction and social disunity.
  • Can be a trigger for conflict.
  • And, drives and thrives on the breakdown of political and social institutions.

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

“The poor and vulnerable suffer disproportionately,” he stressed.  “And impunity compounds the problem.”

The UN chief linked corruption to many forms of instability and violence, such as the illicit trafficking of weapons, drugs and people and noted that connections between corruption, terrorism and violent extremism have been repeatedly recognized by the Security Council and General Assembly.

“Large-scale corruption surveys conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) found that bribery of public officials was particularly high in areas affected by conflict,” he continued, adding that in times of conflict, corruption can be especially devastating as it can affect basic needs and exacerbate hunger and poverty.

“It is especially important to build up the capacity of national anti-corruption commissions and prosecutorial efforts,” he told the Council, encouraging governments to ensure independent judiciaries, media freedom and whistleblower protections.

He suggested that the international community work effectively against money laundering, tax evasion and the illicit financial flows “that have deprived countries of much-needed resources,” and that feed further corruption.

Mr. Guterres reiterated some of the ways the Organization can support Member States, “from sharing good practices to supporting efforts to strengthen national anti-corruption institutions.”

Mr. Guterres recognized that people globally continue to express outrage over their corrupt leaders, noting how deeply corruption is embedded in societies, saying “They are rightly calling for political establishments to operate with transparency and accountability – or make way for those who will.”

“I call on leaders everywhere to listen, to nurture a culture of integrity and to empower citizens to do their part at the grass roots,” he said.

Stop mass atrocities by curbing war profiteers

Also taking the floor was John Prendergast, Co-founder, with George Clooney, of “The Sentry,” a team of policy analysts, regional experts, and financial forensic investigators who follow the flow of corrupt cash, and its close links with African warlords who perpetrate atrocities.

With a focus on the continent, Mr. Prendergast highlighted the major role of corruption in fueling and extending conflict, explaining that war has been good business for many.

Citing deadly African conflicts, such as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan and the Central African Republic, he spoke of the extraordinary opportunities exploited by profiteers when “there is a visible nexus between grand corruption and mass atrocities.”

“Until the Security Council and other interested parties with potential influence can create leverage” to change the dynamics of financing conflict, from pillaging resources, looting and stealing state assets, he assured the Council that “the bottom line is that war will remain more beneficial than peace for those at the centre of conflict and corruption.”

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Marco Polo’s Dream

The European Brain Drain: hard facts and harder truths

MEPs take stock of the EU’s foreign, security and defence policy priorities

Who the US and China have trade disputes with

Youth not prioritised in new Commission

UN News Daily #UNGA Guide: Mandela Peace Summit, Global Goals, Youth and Yemen

COP21 Business update: Companies urge now for carbon pricing as coal is still a big issue

Dieselgate: Parliament calls for mandatory retrofits of polluting cars

Sahel States need international support ‘now more than ever’– UN peacekeeping chief

Venezuela migrant crisis begs a ‘coherent, predictable and harmonized’ response: UNHCR

Siemens-Alstom merger: Will the EC succumb to Franco-German pressures for the sake of May’s EU Elections?

UN chief outlines solutions to defeat ‘four horsemen’ threatening our global future

The European Parliament x-rays the troika’s doings

Copyright: MEPs back provisional agreement

We probably should go back to the therapy in Primary Healthcare

Children in crisis-torn eastern Ukraine ‘too terrified to learn’ amid spike in attacks on schools

More than 90% of the world’s children are breathing toxic air

Sweden gives all employees time off to be entrepreneurs

From low-earth orbit, ‘envoys’ of humanity join UN space forum

Love Affair with Some(one)/(thing)

These airports are now opening their doors to non-fliers

Khashoggi murder trials must public and meet international standards, UN expert urges

Gender is where the feminist and LGBTI movements meet. Here’s why

Yemen: ‘Living hell’ for all children, says UNICEF; Angelia Jolie calls for ‘lasting ceasefire’

The EU Consumer Policy on the Digital Market: A Behavioral Economics View

4 ways 3D printing can revolutionize manufacturing

Why the ocean holds the key to sustainable development

More than 3,400 classrooms damaged or destroyed by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, says UN Children’s Fund

6th Edition of India m2m + iot Forum 2019 concluded, in association with The European Sting

If a virus could sing … Could this musical version of COVID-19 help us defeat the disease?

UN rushes to deliver aid as key Yemeni port city is ‘shelled and bombarded’

More women and girls needed in the sciences to solve world’s biggest challenges

GDPR and the World Cup have these 4 things in common

These four countries are the happiest in the European Union

A Sting Exclusive: “The competitiveness of Europe depends on a digital single market”, EPP President Joseph Daul highlights live from European Business Summit 2015

The EU risks trade relations with China over the Tata hype about steel

A new proposal breaks the stalemate over the Banking Union

3 charts that show how global carbon emissions hit a record high in 2018

Water scarcity is a growing problem across the Middle East. Is this how we solve it?

Why is the EU launching a doomed policy in stopping immigrant waves? What are the real targets?

Cape Town almost ran out of water. Here’s how it averted the crisis

UN cultural agency removes birthplace of Jesus from its list of heritage sites in danger

‘Once-in-a-generation opportunity’ will be squandered, warns Guterres, unless social, economic, environmental challenges are met

Migration: Commission takes action to find solutions for unaccompanied migrant children on Greek islands

Eurozone to enter the winter…

Restoring prospect of peace in Middle East is ‘our shared responsibility’ UN envoy tells Security Council

ECB to people: Not responsible if you lose money on Bitcoin, your governments are

Yellow vests, rising violence – what’s happening in France?

Aidex: the Global Humanitarian and Development Aid Event

A European student just sets the question of the day: What kind of education policies are missing in Europe?

‘We are facing a learning crisis’, UN chief warns on International Youth Day

High unemployment to continue haunting the EU

Want to cut greenhouse gas emissions? Look to digital technologies

European Commission adopts new list of third countries with weak anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regimes

What’s the latest on coronavirus antibody tests?

There are 3 barriers blocking good menstrual hygiene for all women. Here’s how we overcome them

ECB to buy corporate bonds: Will government financing be the next step?

Global leaders and companies pledge to reduce the gender pay gap by 2030

One-in-five suffers mental health condition in conflict zones, new UN figures reveal

Ghana will grow faster than any other economy this year, the IMF says why

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s