Transparency International Issues Corruption Index Before UN and World Bank meetings on Corruption/ HuffPo

The following story describes this year’s publication of the famed Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International. This annual country metric gets widely discussed. The new index shows that most governments (2/3) “show very high levels of corruption.” 

Corruption is criminal, it keeps the criminals in power, it leaves little room for meaningful change and advancement in civil society. We won’t move forward as a species without giving it a serious fight.  The author is Frank Vogl, a co-founder of Transparency International:

New Global Corruption Scores Must
Be A Wake Up Call to UN and World Bank

A new global survey of corruption
published by Transparency International (TI) shows an all-too-familiar picture
of deep and far-reaching abuse of government positions by politicians and
officials for their personal gain. More than two-thirds of the 175 countries
covered by the survey show very high levels of corruption.

TI, founded in 1993, is the oldest
and largest global, not-for-profit, anticorruption organization and ever since
1995 it has published an annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). It is a
powerful tool to remind the world that bad governance directed by self-serving
politicians and civil servants is a major cause of world poverty, human and
national insecurity, human rights abuse and the undermining of efforts to build
democracy.

The new CPI’s blunt findings should
serve as a wake-up call on December 10 when top officials and so-called
anti-corruption experts (consultants, academics and a smattering of civil
society activists) meet in two separate meetings – one at the United Nations in
New York and the other at the World Bank in Washington DC – to discuss global
corruption.

The leading multilateral
institutions like to hold meetings on this topic and pontificate and yet their
record of helping to reduce corruption in many of the world’s poorest countries
is lamentable. They continue to enjoy overly cozy relations with thoroughly
corrupt governments.

The 2014 CPI finds that 120 out of
the 175 countries for which there is solid data available score below 50, on a
scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very
clean). The least corrupt countries – the cleanest governments at least in
terms of bribery and extortion and theft of public funds are listed in the
table below:

Rank Country Score out of 1001. Denmark 922. New Zealand 913. Finland 894. Sweden 875. Norway; Switzerland 867. Singapore 848. Netherlands 839. Luxembourg 8210. Canada 81

It could well be that companies
headquartered in these so-called “clean” countries pay bribes abroad
and/or the banks in these countries get up to some foreign corrupt practices,
but the CPI confines itself to perceptions of official corruption.

Perceived Most Corrupt Countries

The deeply concerning news is that
in many countries the level of perceived corruption is so great that it is, in
fact, a virulent disease that effects every aspect of life, from bribe-taking
by police and hospital clinic workers and school teachers, to major thefts by
top officials, powerful politicians and their cronies. The countries that
performed worst in the new CPI are highlighted below:

Rank Country Score out of 100166. Eritrea; Libya; Uzbekistan  18  169. Turkmenistan 17170. Iraq 16171. South Sudan 15172. Afghanistan 12173. Sudan 11174. Korea (North); Somalia 8

Afghanistan and Iraq have received
tens of billions of dollars of foreign aid over the last decade. Much of the
cash has not been fully accounted for. Much of it has been stolen and actually
enhanced the propensity of top officials in these countries and politicians to
steal. The prospects for peace in both of these war-riven countries will remain
bleak so long as current levels of corruption prevail.

What the World Bank and the United
Nations have failed to adequately appreciate is that their continual approaches
of cooperation with rabidly corrupt regimes serve largely to encourage those
regimes to believe they can continue on their criminal paths. The multilateral
official institutions need to be bold and clear: they need to declare that they
will no longer provide foreign aid through governments that refuse to have
their public accounts efficiently and independently monitored, that refuse to
permit full transparency in government budgets, that refuse to end systems of
impunity that allow government leaders to evade justice.

At the same time, the United
Nations and World Bank need to understand that sustainable anticorruption
reform can only be secured by country nationals working every day in their countries
to promote reforms and to monitor governmental activities at municipal and
national levels. Only civil society groups can do this well and there are today
many highly experienced groups of this kind across the world. They urgently
need far greater public support from the leading official multilateral
institutions and cash to support their work.

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