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Legal Matters

Corruption costs $2.6 trillion: UN chief

Tehran, The cost of corruption is at least $2.6 trillion, equal to 5 percent of global gross domestic product, said United Nations secretarygeneral on International AntiCorruption Day on Sunday.

'Corruption is present in all countries, rich and poor, North and South', said Antonio Guterres in a massage, a copy of which was obtained by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) through the United Nations Information Center (UNIC) in the Iranian capital on December 9.

'Corruption is an assault on the values of the United Nations', and 'robs societies of schools, hospitals and other vital services, drives away foreign investment and strips nations of their natural resource,' Guterres said in his message.

He said corruption undermines the rule of law and abets crimes such as the illicit trafficking of people, drugs and arms.

'Tax evasion, money laundering and other illicit flows divert muchneeded resources for sustainable development.'

Saying that the World Economic Forum estimates the cost of corruption is at least $2.6 trillion, which means 5 per cent of global gross domestic product, he added, 'According to the World Bank, businesses and individuals pay more than $1 trillion in bribes each year.'

He said that corruption begets more corruption and fosters a corrosive culture of impunity.

UN chief also said that the UN Convention against Corruption is among the primary tools for advancing the fight.

Sustainable Development Goal 16 and its targets also offer a template for action: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

Guterres urged the world to 'work together to build a foundation of trust and accountability.'

'We can educate and empower citizens, promote transparency and strengthen international cooperation to recover stolen assets.'

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency IRNA

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