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

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

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

Berlin vies for a Germanic European Central Bank

Is sub-Saharan Africa ready for the electric vehicle revolution?

First-ever World Braille Day underscores importance of written language for human rights

Educational disadvantage starts from age 10

External action: more funds for human rights, development and climate change

We need a global convention to end workplace sexual harassment

How cities are failing to be inclusive – and what they can do about it

EU to spend €6 billion on youth employment and training futile schemes

TTIP’s 11th round starts in Miami but EU-US businesses see no sunny side

MWC 2016 LIVE: Mobile Connect availability hits 2B

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Albinism, displacement in Central America, family-friendly nations, updates on the Gulf and Darfur

The MWC14 Sting Special Edition

Why will Paris upcoming “loose” climate change agreement work better than the previous ones?

Mental Health Policy, a significant driver for growth

We’ve lost 60% of wildlife in less than 50 years

IMF: How can Eurozone avoid stagnation

Why medical students decide to study abroad?

Stronger European Border and Coast Guard to secure EU’s borders

Greece returns to markets at a high cost to taxpayers, after four years out in the cold

Backed by UN agency, countries set to take on deadly livestock-killing disease

Female African coders ‘on the front-line of the battle’ to change gender power relations: UN chief

Refugee crisis update: EU still lacks solidarity as Hungary and Slovakia refuse to accept EU Court’s decision

How cities can lead the way in bridging the global housing gap

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

Main results of EU-Japan summit which took place on 25/04/2019 in Brussels

How smart tech helps cities fight terrorism and crime

Cocaine and opium production worldwide hit ‘absolute record highs’ – major threat to public health says UN study

New identity cards deliver recognition and protection for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Migration and rule of law on next ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly agenda

The UK remains in the EU until a new Brexit date is set

Syria still suffering ‘staggering levels’ of humanitarian need, Security Council hears

How to have a good Fourth Industrial Revolution

Children who exercise have more brain power, finds study

The Commission favours the cultivation of more GMOs in Europe

Dual Food Quality: Commission releases study assessing differences in the composition of EU food products

Corporate tax remains a key revenue source, despite falling rates worldwide

Afghanistan: top UN official denounces ‘extreme’ suffering of civilians in Ghazni

UN rights chief ‘strongly’ condemns ‘shocking’ mass executions in Saudi Arabia

Working Muslim women are a trillion-dollar market

New Zealand has unveiled its first ‘well-being’ budget

G20 starts to tackle inequality

These are the benefits of learning a second language

Erdogan vies to become Middle East Sultan over Khashoggi’s killing

Facebook: MEPs demand a full audit by EU bodies to assess data protection

These countries are leading the charge to clean energy

Statement by the Brexit Steering Group on UK government White paper

Will AI make the gender gap in the workplace harder to close?

UN recognises role of sport in achieving sustainable development

Eurozone close to agreeing on a Banking Union

IMAGINATION, FACTS AND OPPORTUNITIES – THE UNLIMITED POWER OF CHINA

Restore hope that peace will come to the Middle East, UN negotiator urges Security Council

The power of digital tools to transform mental healthcare

Post-Brexit muddled times: the resignation of UK’s top ambassador and Theresa May’s vague plans

What is the UN General Assembly and what does it do?

MEPs Anti-fraud votes for more votes?

More women than ever before are running for political office in the US

Impossible Brexit options: WTO or new referendum?

Peru should help more young vulnerable people into work

Employment and Social Developments in Europe: 2018 review confirms positive trends but highlights challenges, in particular linked to automation and digitalisation

We can feed the world in a sustainable way, but we need to act now

More Stings?

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