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Combating Global Corruption


People everywhere should have the right to start a business or get an education without paying a bribe.

President Barack Obama is committed to combating global corruption. In a speech to the Ghanaian Parliament, he made clear why fighting corruption is important:

"No country is going to create wealth if its leaders exploit the economy to enrich themselves or if police can be bought off by drug traffickers. … People everywhere should have the right to start a business or get an education without paying a bribe. We have a responsibility to support those who act responsibly and to isolate those who don’t, and that is exactly what America will do."

At a Washington symposium earlier this year, David Luna, Director for Anticrime Programs, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, cited a new international treaty as a major means to advance the President’s anti-corruption goal: “Working with other partners, the United States helped to successfully negotiate the first comprehensive, near global treaty against corruption, the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.”

This treaty obligates 147 countries, including the United States, to criminalize many corrupt practices, such as the bribery of public officials and money laundering. It provides new and groundbreaking measures to prevent corruption, and to recover assets illicitly acquired by corrupt leaders. Most importantly, it establishes an international framework for countries to cooperate through mutual legal assistance, and to expand extradition to bring corrupt officials to justice. Today the United Nations Convention Against Corruption is a key pillar of international cooperation in numerous multilateral forums including G20, APEC, and other anticorruption initiatives.

In a message given in honor of the International Anti-corruption Day, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reaffirmed the anti-corruption message:

"As we work together to eradicate corruption in our own countries, we should also maintain the highest standards of transparency and accountability in our development efforts around the world."

"Corruption in emerging markets and fragile democracies undermines the confidence of citizens and investors alike," said Secretary Clinton, "while responsible governance helps to foster sustainable economic development and political stability."