International Anti-Corruption Day 2022: History, Significance and Theme

International Anti-Corruption Day is annually observed on 9th December, it serves as a reminder for us to continue our fight against corruption

International Anti-Corruption Day is annually observed on 9th December. This day serves as reminder for us to continue our fight against corruption in our world which is a major world issue which is plaguing our societies. 

The United Nations has declared this day to bring attention to the need to adopt an anti-corruption stance and hence it encourages people to always speak out against corruption for the betterment of our world. 

The world today faces some of its greatest challenges in many generations – challenges which threaten prosperity and stability for people across the globe. The plague of corruption is intertwined in most of them. Thus this issue must be taken seriously.  

Event International Anti-Corruption Day
Date December 9, 2022
Day Friday
Significance The day serves as reminder for us to continue our fight against corruption
Observed by World wide


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International Anti-Corruption Day History: 

Corruption has existed from time immemorial ever since the beginning of the human civilizations. Some of the earliest records of anti-corruption texts can be found in the Code of Hammurabi of Babylonia, the Great Edict of Horemheb in Egypt, and Arthashastra in India. These texts spoke about bribery practices among officers of the state and law. During the time of the Roman empire corruption was also inhibited, e.g. by a decree issued by emperor Constantine in 331. In ancient times, moral principles based on religious beliefs were common, as several major religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, and Taoism condemn corrupt conduct in their respective religious texts. 

With the popularization of the concept of public interest and the development of a professional bureaucracy in the 19th century offices became perceived as trusteeships instead of property of the office holder, leading to legislation against and a negative perception of those additional forms of corruption. Especially in diplomacy and for international trade purposes, corruption remained a generally accepted phenomenon of the political and economic life throughout the 19th and big parts of the 20th century. However, it was at this time only when corruption was beginning to be understood not just as an unwanted practice but a practice that was levying a great cost in society. 

In the 1990s corruption was increasingly perceived to have a negative impact on economy, democracy, and the rule of law. The increased awareness of corruption was widespread and shared across professional, political, and geographical borders. While an international effort against corruption seemed to be unrealistic during the Cold War, a new discussion on the global impact of corruption became possible, leading to an official condemnation of corruption by governments, companies, and various other stakeholders. The 1990s additionally saw an increase in press freedom, the activism of civil societies, and global communication through an improved communication infrastructure, which paved the way to a more thorough understanding of the global prevalence and negative impact of corruption. 

On 31 October 2003, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention against Corruption and requested that the Secretary-General designate the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as secretariat for the Convention's Conference of States Parties (resolution 58/4). Since then, 188 parties have committed to the Convention's anti-corruption obligations, showing near-universal recognition of the importance of good governance, accountability, and political commitment. The Assembly also designated 9 December as International Anti-Corruption Day, to raise awareness of corruption and of the role of the Convention in combating and preventing it. The Convention entered into force in December 2005. 


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International Anti-Corruption Day Significance: 

Corruption is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon that affects all countries. Corruption undermines democratic institutions, slows economic development and contributes to governmental instability. Corruption attacks the foundation of democratic institutions by distorting electoral processes, perverting the rule of law and creating bureaucratic quagmires whose only reason for existing is the soliciting of bribes. Economic development is stunted because foreign direct investment is discouraged and small businesses within the country often find it impossible to overcome the "start-up costs" required because of corruption.

Corruption has negative impacts on every aspect of society and is profoundly intertwined with conflict and instability jeopardizing social and economic development and undermining democratic institutions and the rule of law. Corruption not only follows conflict but is also frequently one of its root causes. It fuels conflict and inhibits peace processes by undermining the rule of law, worsening poverty, facilitating the illicit use of resources, and providing financing for armed conflict. Preventing corruption, promoting transparency and strengthening institutions is crucial if the targets foreseen in the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN are to be met. 

Many of us have faced some form of corruption in our dealings with business or government, but we may have discounted the significance of it in order to "get things done". This day reminds us that we don't have to accept these practices and can speak out against them as they are both politically and morally wrong. The UN urges people to fight against corruption. This this day highlights the importance of having ethics in our lives. While we have been taught ethical conduct from the time we are kids, we may have forgotten about them in the daily grind and hustle. This is the time to reopen and even relearn those lessons to guide our own conduct.

Today, Transparency International is one of the most well-known organization which works for tackling corruption in countries all over the world and makes people aware about it. It currently hosts the International Anti-Corruption Conference every two years to convene civil society, bureaucrats, nonprofits and political leaders around special, cross-cutting challenges posed by corruption. Transparency International also developed the Corruption Perception Index in 1995 to measure corruption across sectors and practices in various countries and rank them comparatively. The index now collects data from 180 countries.  


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International Anti-Corruption Day Theme: 

The theme of International Anti-Corruption Day 2022 is "Uniting the World against Corruption". 

This theme seeks to highlight the crucial link between anti-corruption and peace, security, and development. At its core is the notion that tackling this crime is the right and responsibility of everyone, and that only through cooperation and the involvement of each and every person and institution can we overcome the negative impact of this crime. States, government officials, civil servants, law enforcement officers, media representatives, the private sector, civil society, academia, the public and youth alike all have a role to play in uniting the world against corruption. 

The 2022 IACD also marks the start of efforts to mark the twentieth anniversary of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). Over the next year, culminating with IACD 2023, it will be reflecting on a world made better thanks to the collective push afforded by the Convention and, crucially, what gaps remain to ensure this is a truly strong mechanism for the years ahead. 

Most Searched FAQs on International Anti-Corruption Day: 

1. When is International Anti-Corruption Day observed? 

International Anti-Corruption Day is annually observed on 9th December. 

2. Who started International Anti-Corruption Day? 

When the U.N. Convention Against Corruption was adopted by the General Assembly in 2003, it decided to observe a special day against corruption. 

3. What is the theme of International Anti-Corruption Day 2022? 

The theme of International Anti-Corruption Day 2022 is "Uniting the World against Corruption." 

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