Today is International Anti-Corruption day. Corruption is a global phenomenon that strikes hardest at the poor, hinders inclusive economic growth and robs essential services of badly needed funds. From cradle to grave, millions are touched by corruption’s shadow.
Corruption is one of the most serious challenges of our time. Nearly all of us are victims of corruption: whether we are poor and cannot afford to pay a bribe for basic services or taxpayers whose hard-earned money gets misappropriated; or house buyers who are asked to pay under the table to avoid tax, or factory workers who lose their lives working in unsafe buildings certified by an unscrupulous inspector – we all suffer from the same scourge. Nothing feeds corruption more than apathy, or the belief nothing can be done and it is “just the way life is”. This portrayal of corruption allows impunity for corruption to flourish – it allows the corrupt to get away with it.
But not for long. There is compelling and overwhelming evidence that people throughout the world have had enough and are willing to take action to stop corruption. According to Transparency International two in three people believe that ordinary people can make a difference in the fight against corruption and more than 90 per cent of people would be willing to be engaged in the fight against corruption.
Our industry is not immune from various forms of corruption and bribery, and it has become increasingly clear that in a digital age of transparency and compliancy all companies require a strong Anti-Corruption strategy. Over the last 9 months I have been working with our teams from around the world and external experts to develop an approach based on the UN Global Compact framework with guidance from Transparency International’s 2013 framework: Business Principles for Countering Bribery.
As a first step towards public advocacy against corruption, MCI has signed the UN Global Compact Call to Action and is calling on governments to promote anti-corruption measures and to implement policies that will establish systems of good governance. The Call to Action urges Governments to underscore anti-corruption and good governance as fundamental pillars of a sustainable and inclusive global economy. You can see MCIs name and other signatories here.