International Anti-Corruption Day 2020: Theme and significance of occasion aimed at promoting probity in governance

International Anti Corruption Day is observed in order for us to put our thoughts and actions in preventing corruption in various organisations and institutions around the world. Given the strong impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the economy, governance institutions and society, International Anti-Corruption Day 2020 becomes all the more significant.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres spoke on corruption in the context of the pandemic recently. He said: “Corruption is criminal, immoral and the ultimate betrayal of public trust. It is even more damaging in times of crisis – as the world is experiencing now with the COVID-19 pandemic”. He pointed out how the response to the virus was creating “new opportunities to exploit weak oversight and inadequate transparency, diverting funds” at a time when the entire humanity has been severely hit.

International Anti Corruption Day 2020: Date

Every year, the United Nations observes the International Anti-Corruption Day on 9 December. The goal is to raise awareness among people against corruption and study real-life situations that brought serious corrupt practices to the fore.

International Anti Corruption Day 2020: Theme

According to the United Nations, the theme ‘Recover with integrity’ grasps the dual attack of COVID-19 and corruption. As all forms of corruption see a rise during the times of crises, the current time is a sensitive one.

The theme ‘Recover with integrity’ highlights that a better recovery is possible only by putting effective corruption mitigation measures in place. This also emphasizes that an “inclusive COVID-19 recovery can only be achieved with integrity”.

International Anti Corruption Day 2020: Significance

Global crises lead to laxity in protocols in place at the societal level. These holes in the protocols are misused by certain people for corruption and COVID-19 has provided scope for various kinds of corruption. As per data presented by the UNDP, the pandemic is leading to “declines in global human development and could push the number of people living in extreme poverty to over one billion by 2030”.

At the same time, corruption remains a barrier in our efforts to respond to crises such as the present one.



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