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Italy campaigns against corruption: Massari, “it undermines democracy, steals the future of our children”

NEW YORK, DECEMBER 10 – A plague worth about 4 trillion US Dollars, around 5% of global GDP, more than the entire GDP of the African Continent”. A “betrayal” for societies and democracies. “The corrupt and their corrupters are thieves of the future of next generations”, said the Permanent Representative of Italy to the UN, Maurizio Massari, in a multimedia campaign against corruption, “a crime” that puts democracy and the Rule of Law at risk of coming apart.

“Today and every day, let’s get together and say NO to corruption. Everyone has a role to play”, said the Ambassador on Twitter and Youtube on the International Anti-Corruption Day, while at the UN headquarters the Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was talking about a plague that “betrays people, drains resources and undermines democracies”.

In the video, released on the YouTube channel of the Italian Mission, Massari explained that the size of the problem and its consequences are difficult to measure. “The International Monetary Fund described corruption as a complex network of leaking tubes. Corruption causes leakages at multiple points. If no one stops the leakage, the risk is that one day the whole state building might collapse. In the same way, if we don’t stop corruption, the Rule of Law that governs our societies might come apart, undermining democracies, social justice and citizens’ trust in state institutions” he said.

The Ambassador focused on the efforts that the UN and Italy have put in place through the Sustainable Development Goals – specifically on the reduction of on reducing bribery, strengthening institutions, and accessing information included in Goal 16 and its target – but specified that the fight against corruption is a “vital” condition for achieving the entire 2030 Agenda: “Preventing corruption helps protect our Planet, creates jobs, achieves gender equality, and secures wider access to services such as healthcare and education”.

There are ethical dimensions as well: “Corruption contrasts the principles of fairness, honesty, transparency, equal opportunities, meritocracy that should underpin well-functioning societies”. Massari mentioned the need for global involvement at all levels – from States to citizens, and especially young people – and recalled recent Italian initiatives on the matter: from last June’s event co-organised with the UNODC as part of the special session of the General Assembly against corruption, to the October’s G20 leaders’ summit in Rome, where the principle of zero tolerance against corruption was reaffirmed.

Massari’s speech was a counterpoint to the event organised at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in which Minister Luigi Di Maio reiterated that the fight against corruption remains a priority for Italy, committed in its action of legal diplomacy in all international fora, from the G7 to the G20, from the United Nations to the OECD, the Council of Europe to the OSCE, in order to promote a culture of legality. Italy’s actions, said Di Maio, have contributed to elevate the role of the country in the international arena as a primary actor in the fight against corruption, mafia and money laundering. (@giorgiodelgallo)






Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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