The history of International Anti-Corruption Day

Fighting corruption is one of the biggest impediments to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 9th of December marks the International Anti- Corruption Day. Every year, UNODC and UNDP develop a joint global campaign, focusing on how corruption affects education, health, justice, democracy, prosperity and development


UNCAC was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 31 October 2003. It was opened for signature in Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico, from 9–11 December 2003 and thereafter at UN headquarters in New York City. It was signed by 140 countries. As of August 2018, there are 186 parties, which includes 181 UN member states, the Cook Islands, Niue, the Holy See, the State of Palestine, and the European Union.

Why criticizing corruption

Corruption can be defined as a serious crime that undermines social and economic development in all societies. There are lots of concerns regarding the governments enabling corruption actions and lack of use of force policy and oversight. Specifically, there are three main points that corruption infringes:

  • Enforcing law and order
  • Protecting assets country of origin.
  • Promoting transparency

Corruption impacts the work and lives of seafarers all over the world. It makes the industry less safe, less profitable, and less sustainable. Even petty corruption inhibits the development of countries where shipping is the key to sustainable growth and development

Cecilia Müller Torbrand, MACN, says.

Shipping Industry: Where do we stand

Even if all companies have an internal defense against unethical practices, corruption continue to exist; from false certificates and checklists to briberies regarding safety inspections and so on.  As of now, MACN has collected over 19,000 reports of corrupt demands globally.

Ways to minimize corruption in shipping industry

  • Establish more anti-corruption bodies
  • Adopt a collective action approach
  • Put more pressure on enhancing transparency
  • States must take measures to ensure maritime services are subject to safeguards that promote efficiency
  • Promote awareness of corruption
  • Promote practices aimed at preventing corruption

Regulation at the international, national, local government, and corporate levels is vital to tackling corruption. Where there is legal and policy ambiguity there is room to abuse the system. But action must go beyond writing new or more laws

John Sypnowich, MACN, said earlier this year to SAFETY4SEA.

MACN: A Significant Anti-Corruption Initiative

MACN initiative was established in 2011 as an industry-led collective action initiative, to stamp out corruption in the maritime industry and to promote inclusive trade. Having now grown to over 90 companies across the maritime industry, MACN’s members represent a significant percentage of the total global tonnage and play a key role in ocean transport.

If corruption is a disease, transparency is an essential part of its treatment

Kofi Annan.