Corruption: a threat to development

09 Dec 2010

Ha Noi – Today marks International Anti-Corruption Day, an annual opportunity to raise awareness around the world about the effects of corruption and ways to fight it. A global UN anti-corruption campaign – ‘Your NO Counts’ – is also being marked on 9 December.

Corruption is a serious crime that hinders social and economic development as well as efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. It increases poverty by diverting domestic and foreign investment away from where it is most needed and weakens education and health systems. Corruption exacerbates inequality and injustice by perverting the rule of law and punishing victims of crime through corrupt rulings. Evidence shows it hurts poor people disproportionately.

"In the education and health sectors for instance, corruption in Viet Nam appears to be pervasive. It is the poor who can least afford to pay additional costs in the form of “envelopes” and it is the poor who suffer most as corruption reinforces existing inequalities,” says John Hendra, UN Resident Coordinator.

The United Nations Convention against Corruption is the only global legally binding anti-corruption instrument to prevent and fight corruption. The Convention is important because it provides all national, regional and multinational anticorruption efforts with a single set of obligations and guidelines on anti-corruption. Based on these, the UN, in particular the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), provide technical support to countries, including advice on anti-corruption institutions, strategies to curb and prevent corruption and programmes that address the systemic causes of corruption.

Viet Nam ratified the UN Convention against Corruption on 30 June 2009, complementing the existing legislative framework and national anti-corruption strategy. Since ratification, the Government has developed an action plan and started implementation of the UN Convention. At the same time, Viet Nam is actively preparing for an assessment in 2011 of implementation so far.

“The challenge ahead is to ensure the Anti-Corruption Strategy towards 2020 and the UN Convention against Corruption are effectively implemented. In this regard, clear and selective identification of priorities is a pre-requisite. The United Nations looks forward to continuing our support to the Government of Viet Nam to fulfil its obligations with respect to implementing the Convention and the upcoming self-assessment,” concludes John Hendra.

See also:

The UN Secretary-General’s message on International Anti-Corruption Day
Message from the Executive Director of UNODC on International Anti-Corruption Day