7 December 2011
Friday, being 9 December, is marked by the United Nations as International Anti Corruption Day. The event was first marked in 2003. Promotion of the occasion has increased its recognition in a number of jurisdictions. But the probability is that in New Zealand, neither the media nor agencies with a responsibility for raising awareness of the corrosive effects of corruption will do anything to support the international movement.
The irony of course is that New Zealand rates as the least corrupt public sector, despite the minimal public discussion of corruption and measures to eliminate it. Countries with a much higher incidence are those that have campaigns to raise awareness and “say no to corruption” type campaigns.
The United Nations champions the UN Convention Against Corruption and the convention mechanisms as the primary tool for countries to combat fraud. The Secretary general is calling for a worldwide denunciation of corruption including extortion and bribery. Organisations are being urged to adopt an ethical culture as the best antidote to corruption. The UN Ethics Office promotes accountability, integrity, transparency and an environment where staff feel protected from retaliation as best way to expose unethical behaviour.
Tomorrow and Friday yet another UN agency, the Office of Internal Oversight Services in New York, is bringing organisations together from around the world to promote the importance of these elements.in strengthening anti-corruption aspirations.
The message for this year’s campaign, with the acronym of ACT, is “against corruption today”.
ACT against corruption today!