International Anti-Corruption Day
The United Nations Convention, in the October 31, 2003, signed a resolution number 58/4 declaring the 9th of December each year as the world anti corruption day. The first annual International Anti-Corruption Day met on December 9th, 2004 in Mérida, Mexico. Since then it has convened a conference each year to fight the corruption vice around the world.
The International Anti-Corruption Day this year will be held in Bangkok Thailand on December 9th, 2007. It is expected about 150 national representatives who signed on the treaty and another 20 or so countries who ratified it will attend the conference.
Nations who signed the anti corruption agreement are responsible to take responsibility and implement plan into action for result. And Private sectors should also be encouraged to participate actively in the campaign.
All member countries must act to condemn corruption practice and deny residence to corrupt officials who flee the countries. Members should also cooperate among the group to recover illegal property swindled by corrupted official.
However, poorer developing countries may not have the resources and ability to cope with the task. Thus, UNODC will provide technical assistance in legal advisory services to help cope with this world mission.
Despite the fact that US has a high ethical and legal standards in anti corruption, it has suffered a “significant worsening”* in its perceived levels of corruption. This is due to the series of business scandals and increasing concerns over political party funding.
The US fell to 20th place from 17th last year, just behind Ireland. Its score fell from 7.6 to 7.3, with 10 representing “least corrupt” and 0 “rampant corruption”.
USA also has a Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (FCPA) with severe punishment to business practicing corruption to win business overseas. But again in early 2006, Thailand caught a US firm selling luggage scanning system to the new international airport with huge amount of under table kick back to the then Thai officers.
In Thailand, there is a saying that "If you want to end corruption, you have to chop off the head of every one in the land.” This may mean to be sarcastic, but it does contain some truth in it. After all, Paul did say, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Rome 3:23
This, however, is not to be construed as to condone corruption. It only says that corruption is a giant monster that needs our combined effort and energy to restrain. This is not a local issue but a united nation global problem.
Seven out of ten least corrupted countries in the world are in Europe and seven out of ten worst corrupted countries in the world are in Africa. It tells us that corruption has plenty to do with standard of living. A civil servant with a monthly income between US$ 100-200 in these countries can hardly live to support a family of four.
A fight against corruption should take into consideration of other plights of these poor. Anti corruption drive to these sectors of officers should be done hand in hand with lifting their standard of living. But for those fat public officers who wield power to their own personal gain, UN should come out with clear guidelines to battle the corruption evildoing in International Anti-Corruption Day this year. ______________________________________
*The 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), launched on Monday, November 6, 2006, by the Berlin-based Transparency International (TI)
Countries with a significant worsening in perceived levels of corruption include: Brazil, Cuba, Israel, Jordan, Laos, Seychelles, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and the United States.
Countries with a significant improvement in perceived levels of corruption include: Algeria, Czech Republic, India, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Mauritius, Paraguay, Slovenia, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uruguay.