International Anti Corruption Day is observed every year on 9 December across the globe. It is celebrated to raise the awareness among people about corruption and what they can do to fight it. This day is celebrated worldwide under the observance of United Nations and encourages a global fight against corruption keeping the sustainable development goal of 2030 at the apex.
According to UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres - "Corruption begets more corruption, and fosters a corrosive culture of impunity. The United Nations Convention against Corruption is among our primary tools for advancing the fight. Sustainable Development Goal 16 and its targets also offer a template for action.”
No doubt the main objective of the day is to eliminate corruption to make a way for a prosperous society in the whole world. Lots of activities like conferences, speeches, plays with a feeling to combat corruption are performed both in the UN and respective member states.
What is Corruption?
According to UN corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. No country, region or community is immune from corruption. It is found in all parts of the world whether it is political, social or economic which threatens and undermines the democratic institutions, contributes the governmental instability and slows down the economic development.
In easy words we can say that corruption is dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery or corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain and can occur in several forms. It corrodes the fabric of the society. It takes people freedom, health, money and sometimes their lives. Someone has correctly said that “Corruption is a sweet poison”.
International Anti Corruption Day: History
In December 2003 the first step to fight against international corruption was taken by the United Nation by passing United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). It was drafted on 31st October 2003. UNAC is a treaty between UN member states which was signed on 9 December and came into effect from 14 December 2005. The aim of this treaty was to legally bind the member of the states to work in reducing corruption and enforce law and order. 5 points were explained in the agreement, they are:
- To take necessary steps for preventing corruption.
- Enforcing law and order.
- For reducing corruption cooperate at international level.
- Recovery of Asset and its return to the country of origin.
- To provide technical assistance and exchange of information.
Let us tell you that the head quarters of UNCAC are located at Merida and New York. The Secretary General of United States act as the depository and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is the secretary to the meetings of the state parties. On 9 December, 2006 the first International Anti Corruption Day is observed in India by signing the UN Convention against corruption.
How International Anti Corruption Day is celebrated?
As we know that the International Anti Corruption Day is organised by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) every year all over the world. All these agencies work together and with their regional partners in combating corruption at the cross borders and also to promote and encourage the exchange of information.
Several personalities, politicians, notable writers, journalists and members from private organisations also come forward to make awareness regarding corruption and reaffirm their faith for a corruption free society.
Various seminars, campaigns, plays, skits etc. were organised to provide knowledge to the public regarding corruption and how to curb it. Also, pamphlets, booklets were distributed at several places.
In India also this day is observed as an organised event by several government and non-government organisations. Essay writing and speech competitions for children are organised in schools and colleges to make them aware about corruption and how it affect the society. Local authorities distribute pamphlets in public by mentioning incidents of corruption and encourage people to raise their voice against corruption. Also, assurance is given to the people who register their complaints against corruption and keep their details confidential. This is also one of the moves to encourage people so that they come forward and fight with corruption.
Several people also organise events in their locality to spread awareness and also provide knowledge to the people about the responsibilities that are entrusted upon the officials and the government. In fact we should support and encourage others who raised their voice. Also, we should demand transparency in the functioning of various departments. Nowadays, social media plays a vital role in spreading messages, encourage people and provide information from every hook and corner of the country wherever corruption takes place.
We take things lightly, ignore what happens around us because mostly people are of the opinion that corruption is a part and parcel of life and nothing can be done to eradicate it. But it is necessary to understand that unless we as the citizens are not determined to do away with corruption from the roots, accept whatever wrong happened with us then how can we expect from the government to be corruption free. In fact the objective of achieving sustainable development globally by 2030 is possible only if we eliminate corruption.