United Against Corruption for Development, Peace and Security
By admin December 15, 2016

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Corruption is a substantial obstacle for economic development and business growth. It is startling that “every year $1 trillion is paid in bribes, while an estimated $2.6 trillion are stolen through corruption – a sum equivalent to more than 5 percent of global GDP,” according to the UN Factsheets. Collective action is needed in order to achieve transparency and tackle this endemic problem globally. The 2016 theme for anti-corruption, selected by the United Nations, calls for a united and coherent force to fight against corruption to further promote sustainable development.

The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), the first global legally binding international anti-corruption instrument initiated in December 2005, provides a unique tool to address the issue. Globally accepted anti-corruption standards under the Convention are applicable to both the public and private sectors, calling for preventive measures and the criminalization of the dominant forms of corruption.

On the country level, South Africa is one of the best examples to demonstrate widespread corruption at the national level and the anti-corruption systems trying to check it abuse. In the keynote speech presented on International Anti-Corruption Day, South African Minister Jeff Radebe mentions several recent case targeting corruption and fraud as notable achievements in the country’s anti-corruption efforts. Since 2014, ninety persons and legal entities have been convicted for corruption and related issues, thirty-two of which involved more than R5 million per case (a total of about R3.8 billion). Besides, twenty-seven Proclamations have been signed by the President, aimed at empowering the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) to investigate serious malpractices, maladministration and corruption. The Office of the Chief Procurement Officer (OCPO), was established in 2013 by the government to modernize and consolidate the public procurement process, in order to “curb waste, leakages, wrong doing and corruption”.

Despite the progress achieved, corruption is still an ongoing concern in South Africa. For example, the country’s lead anti-corruption official Thuli Madonsela faced repeated vicious attacks against her, including a number of death threats. As the former public protector in the country (retired in October), Ms. Madonsela is known for relentlessly pursuing cases against the country’s most powerful people, including the president. In 2014, she issued an instruction to President Zuma to urge him to repay some state funds spent on his private home renovations. Over the course of her tenure, she had been representing the ordinary people in the country, reminding them of hope for the young democracy.

South Africa is not the only country facing similar issues. Corruption is a widespread disease that hinders economic growth, squander justice, and diminish peace. More must be done at the local, country, regional and international level to ensure we live in a world where corruption doesn’t go unpunished.

Read More:

UN: International Anti-Corruption Day

Eliminate corruption to build sustainable, inclusive and transparent societies

South Africa: Minister Jeff Radebe – International Anti-Corruption Day

South Africa’s Top Anti-Corruption Official Is Facing Death Threats

United Against Corruption: Corruption and Development

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