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Anti-Corruption: “The right thing to do” could have a macro tangible upside for needy people around the world

John Kerry said it best: 

“All told, corruption costs the global economy — global GDP — more than a trillion dollars a year and costs the global economy on an international basis about $2.6 trillion. Imagine the difference that would make to all those kids under the age of 30 –  60 percent in some countries – yearning for jobs and opportunity, for electricity, for education.”

Or, with equal urgency, this from a New York Times editorial, “America’s Global Corruption Crusade”:

” … American officials have come to see corruption as a major cause of global instability — hindering development, deepening poverty and undermining people’s faith in their governments. It becomes not just a problem for the countries where the corruption occurs but a threat to American national security. 

” A long-term solution to the problem will require more stringent international norms. Opening bank accounts, and registering property under aliases, remains unreasonably easy, even in the United States. And nations are only now creating protocols to allow governments to share information about taxpayers who have assets in more than one country.”

The United Nations Global Compact established anti-corruption as its tenth principle of guidance for responsible business practice a little more than a decade ago. Over 300 signatories of its anti-corruption Call to Action — companies and investors  representing some 3.5 billion USD of assets under management — are thereby confronting governments to implement policies and practices for good governance and anti-corruption. 

UNGC anti-corruption efforts are especially relevant to the UN because attainment of its new Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals will be seriously hampered unless international corruption is significantly reduced.

Global Financial Integrity, an anti-corruption monitor, recently estimated that between 2004 and 2013, some $7.8 trillion was diverted from emerging economies through tax evasion, corruption and other criminal activity.

No effective, coordinated international response has as yet taken root. And so, to further build awareness — and, hopefully, action — Business In Society will now report regularly on significant anti-corruption efforts around the world. A special portal on its website will be devoted to recognizing such commitments  and encouraging  many more like them.