MOSCOW, December 9 (Sputnik) – The world marks International Anti-Corruption Day every year on December 9, following an initiative by the United Nations.
On December 9, 2003, Merida, Mexico hosted a high-level political conference, and the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), approved by the UN General Assembly on October 31, 2003, was opened for signing the very same day.
The international treaty stipulates anti-corruption measures, penalties and international cooperation mechanisms in this area, and makes it incumbent on member countries to combat corruption, to pass required legislation and to establish anti-corruption agencies.
Currently, 173 countries have ratified the convention that entered into force in December 2005.
Russia ratified the convention in March 2006.
According to the UNCAC, no country is immune from corruption – a complicated social, political and economic phenomenon that affects all countries to a varying extent. It destroys democratic institutions, slows economic development and undermines the pillars of the state. Corruption affects the foundations of democratic institutions by distorting election processes, misinterpreting and perverting the principle of rule-of-law and creating bureaucratic barriers that only serve to facilitate bribery.
There are many kinds of corruption, including bribery, the illegal appropriation of goods and services that are intended for public use, nepotism and influencing the law-making process for the purpose of obtaining personal gain.
The international community and the public at large have been demanding that public officials display greater openness and accountability.
According to World Bank estimates, 1 trillion dollars are misused worldwide annually.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says annual corruption-related spending exceeds the sum needed to feed the nearly 870 million malnourished people worldwide 80 times over.
On December 3, 2014, Transparency International, the global coalition against corruption, published its 20th Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). The CPI currently rates 177 countries on how corrupt their public sectors are seen to be.
In 2014, Russia scored 27 points, one less than 2013, sharing 136th place with Nigeria, Lebanon, Kyrgyzstan, Iran and Cameroon. Transparency International experts note that Eastern Europe and Central Asia, including Russia, scored an average of 33 points. Georgia and Turkmenistan were the best and worst regional performers, with 52 and 17 points, respectively.
At the top of the list, Denmark, New Zealand and Finland scored 92, 91 and 89 points respectively, while North Korea and Somalia placed last, with just eight points each.
Every year on December 9, many countries organize demonstrations, meetings, conferences, seminars and other events to mark International Anti-Corruption Day.
The motto of International Anti-Corruption Day 2014 is "Break the Corruption Chain."