New York, 9 December 2014 – Corruption is a global phenomenon that strikes hardest at the poor, hinders inclusive economic growth and robs essential services of badly needed funds. From cradle to grave, millions are touched by corruption’s shadow.
Next year the world will agree a new post-2015 sustainable development agenda. Our aim is to empower individuals and catalyse governments, the private sector and civil society to help lift millions out of poverty, protect the planet and achieve shared prosperity and dignity for all. Eliminating corruption and its harmful impacts will be crucial to our future well-being.
To dismantle corruption’s high walls, I urge every nation to ratify and implement the UN Convention against Corruption. Its ground breaking measures in the areas of prevention, criminalization, international cooperation and asset recovery have made important inroads, but there is much more to do. Public services must uphold the highest standards of integrity and ensure that appointments are driven by merit. Public servants, as well as elected officials, must be guided by ethics, transparency and accountability.
The private sector also has a crucial role. Good behaviour is good business. Business groups can convert anti-corruption action into firm support for sustainable development.
I call on everyone to help end corruption, and come together for global fairness and equity. The world and its people can no longer afford, nor tolerate, corruption.