As the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development starts at the United Nations in New York, the global anti-corruption alliance Transparency International calls on the UN to yearly review Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16, Peace, Justice, and Strong Organizations. SDG 16 is one of six goals being reviewed in-depth at the United Nations this week.
SDG 16 involves responsibilities to fight corruption, improve transparency, tackle illicit financial flows and improve the entrance to information. As such, the goal is critical to the entire 2030 Agenda, because corruption undermines progress on all other SDGs.
“Whether the focus is ending hunger and poverty, ensuring access to health, education, and clean water for all, or protecting marine environments and combatting climate change, fighting corruption is an essential pre-requisite for advancing the 2030 Agenda,” said Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of Transparency International. “When aid is siphoned off by the corrupt, when politicians come under undue influence from vested interests, or when citizens are unable to hold their governments to account over the delivery of essential services, the entire sustainable development program is set backward.”
The United Nations predicts that corruption, bribery, tax evasion, and related illicit financial flows deprive developing countries of around US$1.26 trillion per year. This has recently been reinforced by IMF research showing that corruption reduces global tax revenues by US$1 trillion annually.