International Anticorruption Day (December 9)
Today, on International Anticorruption Day, we reaffirm our commitment to prevent and combat corruption globally. Corruption obstructs economic growth and development, facilitates transnational crime, and fuels terrorism, robbing citizens around the world of their basic rights. Corruption enables and sustains autocratic leaders, weakens faith in democratic systems, creates opportunities for predatory actors to take advantage of our partners. It also creates political crises and governance challenges that endanger our national security.
The United States, through a number of agencies, including the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development, takes a comprehensive approach to fighting corruption. We work to hold the corrupt accountable through robust diplomatic engagement, by supporting multi-stakeholder initiatives and civil society, through foreign assistance to build stronger partners and transparent, trustworthy institutions, and by levying targeted sanctions and visa restrictions. We can only tackle corruption effectively with a strategy that includes these many tools and has buy-in from all stakeholders.
In 2019, the State Department publicly designated almost 40 public officials and their immediate family members due to their involvement in significant corruption, pursuant to Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2019. We will continue to use this authority globally to prevent corrupt officials from foreign governments and their immediate family members from traveling to and spending their ill-gotten gains in the United States.
On this day, we renew our call to all countries to address the scourge of corruption; effectively implement their international anticorruption commitments, including those under the UN Convention against Corruption; support civil society and journalists, and take measures to promote open and accountable governance.