By Samuel Ssebuliba
The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has decried the increasing levels of corruption that have undermined trust in governments, compromised peace and security.
In his address at the opening of the 30th Ordinary Session Of The Assembly Of The African Union in Addis Abba, Guterres said the year, 2018, is the African Anti-Corruption Year and commended African leaders for highlight this scourge.
“I commend your decision to highlight this scourge, and offer you our strong support. Corruption contributes to the trafficking of people and drugs, and the plundering of natural resources and wildlife. It can undermine trust in governments, compromising peace and security”, he said.
According to the UN chief, it t is estimated that for every dollar given in official development assistance, a dollar is lost to corruption, so the organization is working with national anti-corruption commissions to end impunity and bring perpetrators to justice.
Guterres says combatting corruption, tax evasion and illicit financial flows requires an impeccable commitment to transparency and accountability.
He adds that together, the UN and African Union can end this menace and make sure that public funding and investments go where they are needed most.
Meanwhile, the UN Chief also challenged women and young people to lead Africa’s development agenda.
Mr. Guterres said women’s full participation makes economies stronger and peace processes more successful.
He said that ending violence against women and girls and child marriage, and increasing women’s participation in decision-making, are prerequisites for the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.
“Africa has the largest concentration of young people in the world, so harnessing the demographic dividend, through investment in quality education, skills and job creation, will unleash unprecedented resources of energy, talent and creativity”, Mr. Guterres added.