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Commemorating UNCAC at 20 and marking IACD

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By Mercy Kelani

The anti-corruption convention has gained near-universal recognition.

The General Assembly of the United Nations announced the adoption of the United Nations Convention against Corruption on October 31, 2003 and requested the designation of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as secretariat for the Conference of States Parties of the Convention (resolution 58/4). The adoption of this anti-corruption convention has gained commitment from 188 parties encouraging an almost universal recognition of the significance of good governance, political commitment and accountability.

December 9 has been declared as International Anti-Corruption Day for the purpose of raising awareness of corruption and enlightening the public concerning the role of the Convention towards combating and preventing corruption. By doing so, commemoration of this day ensures promotion, facilitation and support of international cooperation and technical assistance to prevent and fight against corruption. Likewise, promotion of effective management of public affairs and public property, accountability and integrity are assured as affirmed by the Convention.

Nigeria ranked 154th in 2021 Transparency International Corruption Index.

Corruption is a regular phenomenon is Nigeria which has ranked the country as 154th in the 180 countries listed in Transparency International’s Corruption Index in 2021. According to the 2021 Index, South Sudan ranked 180th, being the most corrupt country while Denmark was the least corrupt country. Since 1960 till 2012, Nigeria has lost an estimation of more than $400 billion to corruption. Corruption in Nigeria includes petty bribery, embezzlement, money laundering schemes, contract fraud and many more.

In Nigeria, corruption is visible in different phases with vote rigging in elections by dubious political parties as one of the most prominent phases. There is also dominance of family loyalties and business arrangements in governmental positions which ensures politicians, officials, family members and business associates – the ruling elite – become wealthy all together through private agreements and awarding profitable contracts. It was also discovered in 2018 that many government officials had annual salaries in excess of $1million.

“Your NO Counts” campaign raises awareness against corruption.

To commemorate International Anti-Corruption Day, there is usually an organization of the “Your NO Counts” campaign – a joint international campaign established by the United Nations Development and the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime. The campaign is designed with the purpose of raising awareness concerning corruption and measures on how to fight it. In 2009, the international campaign raised awareness on how corruption impedes efforts towards achievement of the internationally agreed upon Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The 2022 International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD) looks towards bridging the gap between anti-corruption, peace, development and security. The international day emphasizes the need to tackle corruption as the right and obligation which can be successfully overcome only through cooperation and involvement of persons and institutions. It also asserts that the fight against the negative impact of corruption depends solely on the roles government officials, law enforcement officers, the private sector, states, youth, academia, civil servant, media representatives and the public have to play.

UNCAC at 20: Uniting the World Against Corruption.

Marking the Year 2022 IACD also signifies the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of UNCAC. The theme of International Anti-Corruption Day, “UNCAC at 20: Uniting the World Against Corruption” reflects efforts made towards celebrating the UNCAC anniversary. In 2023, IACD, in partnership with institutions worldwide would look back to a world made better through collective push sponsored by the Convention and bridging necessary gaps to ensure the achievements become a really strong mechanism to withstand future years. Marking 2022 IACD and UNCAC at 20, the United Nations enjoins the world to assist in building a world #UnitedAgainstCorruption.

Related Link

United Nations: Website

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