Fighting Corruption is about Policies, not Politics
The AACI’s View
November 13, 2017
Ban Ki-moon’s, the United Nations Secretary-General, message on the International Anti-Corruption Day on December 9, 2016 was forceful and alarming: “Corruption strangles people, communities and nations. It weakens education and health…..No country is immune, and every country bears a responsibility to end it.” Fighting corruption is not an option; it becomes a global objective of the international community. Goal 16 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit — urges substantial reductions in corruption and bribery and the development of effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels.
We have no doubts that fighting corruption became a necessity for proper functioning government and restoring the citizens’ trust in public institutions. It also became essential to fighting financing terrorism.
Fighting corruption requires proper foundation and requirements to achieve results. The rule of law is the basis for a compelling fight of nepotism, bribery, conflicts of interest, and all types of fraud. It precedes unleashing any fight against corruption. The lower the level of the rule of law, the higher the likelihood the fight against corruption will fail. When citizens perceive that the rule of law is weak, they usually suspect any government attempts to fight graft. Worse, they understand that such attempts are probably mere politics.
Using politics in fighting corruption is not only corrupt practices but also delusions of governance. A symptom of the weakness of the rule of law is the particular (selective) implementation of anti-corruption laws against individuals and entities. We believe that such fight against corruption is not genuine and motivated most likely by political agenda. We also do not call this “a strategy to fight graft”; we call such acts illusions to eradicate fraud.
Though it differs from one country to another, the roadmap to fight corruption is crystally clear: the rule of law, transparency, accountability, and integrity. Otherwise, it is at best governance quagmire.