Corruption is, indeed, an issue of concern to those who are committed to global justice. However, it is not just a development issue. Corruption occurs in all countries, where the mix of opportunity and inclination exists, especially in the interface between the private and public sector.
Where it exists, corruption destabilises democratic government, harms trade and investment, threatens the environment and encourages the abuse of human rights. It impinges on basic social services and threatens the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
Corruption thrives when public accountability is weak. Its greatest victims are the most vulnerable groups in society - the poor, women and children, the sick and the old.
In short, corruption hits the poor especially, and should therefore be tackled. The best way to do this is by strengthening formal and informal checks and balances, promoting accountability and enforcing legislation. Transparency is the greatest enemy of corruption. Cutting aid does nothing to eradicate bribery; supporting accountability mechanisms, on the other hand, does work. Contrary to popular belief, free markets and noninterventionism are not remedies for corruption. No system is entirely free of corruption. Furthermore, corruption exacerbates the already difficult circumstances of States in conflict situations and
those with economies in transition. It is widely
accepted that corruption is an impediment to
development. If not addressed as a priority, it may
hinder all other efforts to effectively advance the
development agenda, both at the international and
the national level. At a minimum, the fight against
corruption requires unconditional commitment
from the political leadership and a corruption-free
Threats and trends
Political corruption covers a wide range of practices
from irregular party and election financing and
vote buying to trading in influence by politicians
and elected public officials.
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