December 9 is the UN’s international anti-corruption day.
On October 31, 2003, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention against Corruption and requested that the Secretary-General designate the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as secretariat for the Convention’s Conference of States Parties.
The Assembly also designated December 9 as International Anti-Corruption Day, to raise awareness of corruption and of the role of the Convention in combating and preventing it.
The Convention entered into force in December 2005.
Here’s part of the UN’s message this year:
Corruption is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon that affects all countries. Corruption undermines democratic institutions, slows economic development and contributes to governmental instability. Corruption attacks the foundation of democratic institutions by distorting electoral processes, perverting the rule of law and creating bureaucratic quagmires whose only reason for existing is the soliciting of bribes. Economic development is stunted because foreign direct investment is discouraged and small businesses within the country often find it impossible to overcome the “start-up costs” required because of corruption.
The UN’s anti-corruption site with campaign materials in English, Arabic, French, Chinese, Spanish, and Russian is here.
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.