Respected principal, teachers and my beloved friends. A pleasant morning to one and all. I Fatema, and I Veerus, are here to talk about International Anti Corruption day. International Anti Corruption day has been observed annually, on the 9th of December. This has become a tradition since 2003, when 129 countries signed the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in Merida, Mexico, after working several years towards the creation of an international legal document against corruption.
Even though an anti-corruption spirit must be embraced at all places and times, today is a good moment to raise awareness about some of the vast and remaining challenges of corruption not only developing countries, but also in the most developed world. International Anti-Corruption Day is a time for political leaders, governments, legal bodies and lobby groups to work together against corruption work by promoting the day and the issues that surround this event.
On this day anti-corruption advocates organize events to engage the general public to effectively fight against corruption and fraud in communities. Some organizations hold special recognition ceremonies to pay tribute to people and projects that provide assistance to nations and communities in the battle against corruption. This year UNODC and UNDP have developed a joint global campaign, focusing on how corruption hinders efforts to achieve the internationally agreed upon Millennium Development Goals and impacts education, health, justice, democracy, prosperity and development.
To understand about anti-corruption, we first need to know what corruption is. Corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. A corrupt society stops valuing integrity, virtue or moral principles. It changes for the worse. Such a society begins to decay and sets itself on the road to self destruction. Corruption is an age old phenomena. Selfishness and greed are the two main causes of corruption. Political corruption is the abuse of their powers by state officials for their unlawful private gain.
Now, how can we stop corruption? To stop corruption, first we need to stop the main causes of it – bribe, theft, using power in negative way, black money, poor management, lack of following of rules and more. This can be done individually. And now focusing on our own nation, India, Corruption in India is a major issue and adversely affects its economy. In 2011 India was ranked 95th out of 178 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.
To stop corruption, there are also laws passed in India Public servants in India can be penalized for corruption under the Indian Penal Code, 1860, Prosecution section of Income Tax Act, 1961, The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, The Benami Transactions Act, 1988 to prohibit benami transactions and Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. And today, we have Anna Hazaare fighting for Lokpal bill and against corruption in India, with many people joining him.
For sure, corruption problems are complex and difficult to address in short periods of time. However, when commitment, consistence, capacity and constancy are put together, it is possible to make a difference. We just need the awareness and participation from the citizens and leaders of our own country, to affront corruption as a development priority. So, on this International Anti-Corruption Day, let us pledge to do our part by cracking down on corruption, shaming those who practice it and engendering a culture that values ethical behavior.