Goodwill Message by Deputy Chief of Mission Maria E. Brewer International Anti-Corruption Day Commemoration Event (December 9, 2015)

(as prepared for delivery)

His Excellency Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senior Advocate of Nigeria.  All other protocols observed.

Good morning.  On behalf of the Embassy of the United States of America, I am pleased to have the opportunity to demonstrate my nation’s support to the international campaign towards eliminating corruption.  Today, we commemorate the UN General Assembly’s adoption of the United Nations Convention against Corruption to raise awareness of corruption and of the convention’s role in combating and preventing it.

Corruption is a complex social, political, and economic phenomenon that adversely affects all countries.  It undermines democratic institutions, slows economic development, and contributes to governmental instability.  It strikes hardest at the poor, hinders inclusive economic growth, and deprives essential services of needed resources.  From cradle to grave, millions are touched by corruption’s shadow.

On this year’s observance of the International Anti-Corruption Day, we call again on people everywhere to get involved in “Breaking the Corruption Chain.”  We need to empower individuals and catalyze governments, the private sector, and civil society to help lift millions out of poverty, protect the planet, and achieve shared prosperity and dignity for all.  Eliminating corruption and its harmful impacts will be crucial to our future well-being.

To dismantle corruption’s high walls, we need to implement the convention’s ground breaking measures in the areas of prevention, criminalization, international cooperation, and asset recovery.  Public services must uphold the highest standards of integrity and ensure that appointments are driven by merit.  Public servants, as well as elected officials, must be guided by ethics, transparency and accountability.

The private sector also has a crucial role.  Good behavior is good business.  Businesses can convert anti-corruption action into firm support for sustainable development.  We call on everyone to help end corruption and come together for global fairness and equity.  The world and its people can no longer afford, nor tolerate, corruption.

The United States stands ready, willing, and able to partner with Nigeria in its anti-corruption fight.

Thank you.