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    UNIS/SGSM/816
    9 December 2016

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

    Remarks At Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani Anti-Corruption Excellence Awards

    Vienna, 9 December 2016

    VIENNA, 9 December (UN Information Service) - It is a great honour for me to participate in this very important event on International Anti-corruption Day.

    I congratulate today's recipients of the Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani Anti-Corruption Excellence Award.

    Through their courage, they are delivering a clear message that corruption is incompatible with fair and ethical societies. 

    I also thank His Highness Amir Al Thani and the Government of Qatar for supporting global anti-corruption efforts, crime prevention and the rule of law through the implementation of the Doha Declaration adopted last year at the 13th Crime Congress.

    This is a very important element of the Sustainable Development Goals. Goal number 16 establishing a peaceful  and rule of law society.  This anti-corruption, eradicating corrupt practices all around the world; these are basic elements of successfully implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.

    Corruption is a strangling root that reaches deep into all our societies.

    It chokes hopes and frustrates opportunities for all the people.

    It enables the few to prosper at the expense of millions who are left behind.

    No country is immune.

    Every day, around the world, the weakest and most vulnerable members of society are losing out -- in education, in health and in justice.

    Corruption is arguably one of the world's biggest drivers of inequity and inequality.

    It increases poverty and suffering by diverting invaluable funds.

    It is crippling to economic and social development.

    The impact of this disease is recognised in the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.

    Goal 16, as I said, on peaceful and inclusive societies seeks to significantly reduce illicit financial flows, corruption and bribery.

    It also aims to make justice more accessible, institutions more accountable, and communities more resilient.

    I welcome the commitment of the Doha Declaration to countering corruption to advance sustainable development.

    A key tool is the UN Convention against Corruption.

    The Convention, its peer review mechanism and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime are enabling a comprehensive approach towards eliminating corruption from every community and society.

    But, engagement must be wholehearted and undertaken by everyone.

    The private sector, civil society and the media all have an essential role to play.  

    Credibility, trust, accountability and transparency must become our beacons.

    They must be the bywords of all our societies. 

    Where trust is broken, cynicism thrives.

    We must not allow the corrosive acid of corruption to eat into public life and hinder our efforts to lift billions from poverty and towards a better world.

    We have set ourselves a goal, within the span of a single generation, to transform the world through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

    In that world, corruption will no longer exist.

    There will be equality and justice for all people -- especially women and girls.

    There can be no deviation from our course.

    Every barrier and obstacles must be cleared.  

    Today's awards are part of that journey.

    I once again thank His Highness, Amir of Qatar, and the Government of Qatar for their strong commitment to make this world better, and just and accountable.

    Let us look forward to the day when this ceremony for brave and fearless people is no longer needed.

    Thank you.  Shukran jazeelan! Danke schön.

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