Is the UN going to recognise the need to build “open and accountable institutions for all” as a goal to succeed MDGs? It would be a game changer to put governance so high on the development agenda of countries. A stand-alone goal to “ensure good governance and effective institutions”, including a target to reduce bribery and corruption among public officials shows how much the development debate has radically and positively shifted.
Poverty is the actual cause of ruin of a country, not to mention the desire of its ruler and officers to amass wealth and possessions, by any means. Corruption undermines the nation’s well-being. For corruption to thrive it needs self-centred and selfish politicians, suffering from obsession of grasping and accumulating wealth supported by businessmen who feed them for their selfish needs. To recover the bribes these businessmen often hoard their goods to get more profit out of them by creating scarcity and by indulging in black-marketing or get contracts by unreasonable means causing a loss to the public.
The starting point to reduce poverty, may be for the Corporate sector to have zero tolerance for corruption. Without improving governance it will not be possible to lift the 1.2 billion people who still live off $1.25 a day or less out of poverty and to ensure that economic growth will benefit the world.
Good governance and the role it plays in fighting poverty is complex. If the corporate sector is able to show strong growth, promote a better business environment for all, increase productivity, temper their pursuit of profits with the needs of their stakeholders and pay taxes properly that would contribute towards the first steps for poverty reduction. The state would have to reduce inefficiencies and waste, provide good education, quality healthcare, good security, judiciary, etc to support businesses to do well in a legal way. Otherwise a growing middle class that has high expectations, becomes disillusioned by corruption and lack of services, making them less willing to support the state and may be migrate to a better country.
Lets start today to ensure our own corporate institutions have good governance and a zero tolerance to bribery and corruption.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi