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Strong political will needed to combat corruption: UN representative

13 December 2018
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Business Standard

Saying that corruption is the backyard of bad governance, a UN representative has stressed on the need for a strong political will and multi-dimensional response to eradicate corruption.

"Tax evasion, money laundering requires urgent and effective interventions," Sergey Kapinos, Representative for South Asia, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said at a two-day conference organised by O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) in Sonipat, Haryana, this week.

"According to a World Bank report, about $1 trillion is given as bribes each year. Similarly, a World Economic Forum report says $2.6 trillion, or about 4.5 per cent of global GDP, has been swindled through corruption," Kapinos said, while pointing out the enormity of the problem.

The conference themed "Combating Corruption in Law and Practice: Comparative Perspectives" pointed out how corruption has spread its tentacles across the globe and how India too suffers massively from its ill-effects.

"Emphasis must be on law and how law as a social instrument can help fight against corruption. But we also know there are significant limitations in law and despite the fact that the legal regulatory framework of many countries that prohibits corruption in all forms of manifestations, corruption continues to be a major challenge," JGU Vice Chancellor C. Raj Kumar said.

"There is also a need to galvanise social consciousness and awareness," he added.

The conference, held in New Delhi and Sonipat, from December 9-10, also saw participants from China, Brazil and Bhutan.

The purpose of the conference was to raise awareness of the UN Convention against Corruption on the occasion of the International Anti Corruption Day because "corruption affects every society in different ways and also corruption violates human rights, and undermines human dignity", said Dabiru Sridhar Patnaik, Chief Proctor, JGU and Director, Centre for Post Graduate Legal Studies, Jindal Global Law School.