Message of UNDP Country Director, Mr. Toshihiro Tanaka

Dec 9, 2013

University Integrity Tour, NCPAG, University of the Philippines

Assistant Ombudsman Atty. Asryman T. Rafanan;
Director Dennis Russel D. Baldago, Office of the Ombudsman;
Chancellor Caesar A. Saloma, University of the Philippines;
Dean Maria Fe Mendoza, UP- NCPAG;
Atty. Rhodora Fenix-Galicia, Campus Integrity Crusaders;
Mr. Raymond Rodis, UP-NCPAG Supreme Student Council;
Friends and partners from government agencies and civil society, and the development community;
Ladies and gentlemen

Magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat!

On behalf of the UN and the UNDP, please allow me to state the Secretary General’s Message on International Anti-Corruption Day at this national occasion of commemorating the International Anti-Corruption day and the National anti-corruption campaign.

The Secretary-General’s Message on International Anti-Corruption Day (9 December)

“Corruption suppresses economic growth by driving up costs, and undermines the sustainable management of the environment and natural resources.  It breaches fundamental human rights, exacerbates poverty and increases inequality by diverting funds from health care, education and other essential services.  The malignant effects of corruption are felt by billions of people everywhere.  It is driven by and results in criminal activity, malfunctioning state institutions and weak governance.

Good governance is critical for sustainable development, and vital in combating organized crime.  Every link in the trafficking chain is vulnerable to corruption, from the bribes paid to corrupt officials by dealers in arms and drugs to the fraudulent permits and licenses used to facilitate the illicit trade in natural resources.

Corruption is also rife in the world of sport and business, and in public procurement processes.  In the last decade, the private sector has increasingly recognized its role in fighting corruption.  A Call to Action launched by the United Nations Global Compact and partners is mobilizing businesses and Governments to engage in transparent procurement.  Guidelines are also being developed to help business fight corruption in sport sponsorship and hospitality.

The UN is strongly committed to fulfilling its own obligations.  Operating in some of the world’s most unstable environments, the UN faces multifaceted corruption risks that can undermine our efforts to advance development, peace and human rights.  We have developed a robust system of internal controls and continue to remain vigilant and work hard to set an example of integrity.

Corruption is a barrier to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and needs to be taken into account in defining and implementing a robust post-2015 development agenda.  The UN Convention against Corruption, adopted 10 years ago, is the paramount global framework for preventing and combating corruption.  Full implementation depends crucially on effective prevention, law enforcement, international cooperation and asset recovery.  On this International Anti-Corruption Day, I urge Governments, the private sector and civil society to take a collective stand against this complex social, political and economic disease that affects all countries.  To achieve an equitable, inclusive and more prosperous future for all, we must foster a culture of integrity, transparency, accountability and good governance.”

As you know, the world is paying tribute to the life achievements of Nelson Mandela in advancing humanity. In his inaugural address as the First Black and Democratically elected President, he eloquently said, “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another.” 

We all should never, never and never again allow the deprivation of many citizens from exercising their rights and accessing critical public services by any corrupt acts of another.

Let me also refer to the ongoing concerted efforts in response to Typhoon Yolanda.  The international agencies engaged in the humanitarian response have an agreement to adhere to the discipline of Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP). Through active listening and meaningful consultation with the affected population according to gender, age, diversity and disability, AAP aims at ensuring that the international community is not inadvertently reinforcing social systems of exclusion, nor allowing abuse or corruption, and ensuring that the women, men, girls, boys affected by the typhoon have equal access to assistance.

UNDP is committed to continue our support to the Ombudsman’s Integrity Caravan initiative–that engages civil society, the government, academe and the private sector into broad-based coalition to fight against corruption.

At De La Salle Manila, Transparency Accountability Network is holding a roundtable discussion on strategies to eradicate vote-buying and promote electoral integrity. In Tomas Morato Quezon City, the Philippine Centre for Investigative Journalism has organised a media training event on citizens’ tasks in monitoring public finance processes. In Mindanao, the citizens of Sibagat are standing with us in monitoring the integrity of water governance system. 

Today, the Caravan is hosted by the top education institution of the country.   As you know, the Philippines has a large and still growing number of young population.  Education and participation of the youth as the future leaders and protectors of the corruption intolerant society is the key to succeed in every effort we are making today.

As a way of conclusion, please allow me to quote, Mr. Mandela, who had been our source of inspiration and courage.  He said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Dear students, our society today is facing multiple and complex challenges. However, I see that this room and your hearts and souls, are filled with much aspiration and hope for the future with the change you want to see in the world.  Please be part of the change you want to see in your society.

Maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat!

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