Photo Courtesy: Transparency International

Each one disapproves, even hates corruption. Then why is that the corruption doesn’t go away?

A thought provoking answer was: Because each one disapproves or hates corruption in the public but not necessarily in the private.

Another answer was: it has to be tackled at the system level, not individual level.

And then our mind goes to the multinational system, the United Nations.

The United Nations has an office of Drugs and Crime. It was created in 1997.

Under the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, we have United Nations Convention Against Corruption. It was signed by 140 countries in 2003 and implemented from 2005.

This convention claims:

“The United Nations Convention against Corruption is the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument. The Convention’s far-reaching approach and the mandatory character of many of its provisions make it a unique tool for developing a comprehensive response to a global problem. The Convention covers five main areas: preventive measures, criminalization and law enforcement, international cooperation, asset recovery, and technical assistance and information exchange. The Convention covers many different forms of corruption, such as bribery, trading in influence, abuse of functions, and various acts of corruption in the private sector.” (Emphasis added)

A bit too much

It looks  bit too much to claim, as you might have noticed from the above, the Convention Against Corruption talks of forms of corruption and doesn’t even have a definition of corruption anywhere over the last 20 years.

Another organization committed to end corruption has been the Transparency International. It was started in 1993. Transparency International is a global coalition against corruption working in over 100 countries to end the injustice of corruption.

Transparency International’s  “mission is to stop corruption and promote transparency, accountability and integrity at all levels and across all sectors of society.”

Transparency International’s “vision is a world in which government, politics, business, civil society and the daily lives of people are free of corruption.”

Transparency International has 90+ Advocacy and Legal Advice Centers (ALACs) across 60 countries which provide free and confidential legal advice.

Do you see the gaps and holes at the system level?

Our world has 195 countries. 193 are members of the United Nations. Those who signed United Nations Convention Against Corruption were 144.

Transparency International operates in 100 countries and has ALACs in 60 countries.

Unlike United Nations Convention Against Corruption, Transparency International, at least, defines “corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.”

“People’s indifference is the best breeding ground for corruption to grow. Only by working together can we hope to end impunity for corruption and the corrupt.” Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair, Transparency International

Thus, those who run the system level, want every individual to care and heed.

In this context, a more meaningful and practical definition of corruption may be: Corruption is failing to perform as expected/ as per your commitment. A CD is called corrupted when it does not play the audio recorded on it.

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