Anti-corruption: The Magic Key to the 2030 Agenda

December 9, is observed as the International Anti-Corruption day since the year 2005. The United Nations General Assembly on October 31, 2003, adopted the United Nations Convention against Corruption and designated December 9 International Anti-Corruption Day, in order to raise awareness about corruption and of the role of Convention in fighting and preventing it. This convention came into force in the year 2005, and since then the day is being observed annually.

There is a very intimate and symbiotic relationship between integrity and sustainable development. Integrity is vital not only for economy, government, business and public service but also acts as a building block of a strong, moral and just society. Today, integrity, accountability and vigilance have become the order of the day. Governments and organizations have understood the importance of integrity in day to day dealings. The 2030 Agenda on the other hand, clearly recognizes that the rule of law and development have a significant interrelation and are mutually reinforcing.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) now make an explicit link between corruption and peaceful, just and inclusive societies. SDG 16 and its targets on reducing bribery, strengthening institutions and accessing information are not only valuable aspirations in their own right, they are also vital conditions for the achievement of all the 17 SDGs. Tackling corruption is vital to achieving the SDGs, particularly Goal 16 – Peace Justice and Strong institutions.

Corruption undermines human development. It diverts public resources away from the provision of essential services. It increases inequality and hinders national and local economic development by distorting markets for goods and services. It corrodes rule of law and destroys public trust in governments and leaders. Corruption affects everyone and can lead to insecurity, less employment and prosperity, weaker institutions and injustice as well as Environmental disasters. Some of the world’s daunting environmental challenges are caused by corruption.

Four years of implementation is a relatively short time to capture what the SDGs have delivered so far. Nevertheless, it is enough to reflect on preparedness in SDG implementation: having a solid foundation and building an inclusive process to achieve priority SDG areas. State parties to the United Nations focus on SDGs two times in a year, at the SDG High Level Political Forum (HLPF) and at the UN General Assembly. In the former, progress towards Goal 16 was also reviewed in HLPF held in New York from July, 2019. Growing inequalities were addressed as they drive conflicts in many countries; they are serious barriers to eradicating poverty, the bedrock goal of the 2030 Agenda. But inequality is not natural or inevitable. It stems from many issues but policies, laws, cultural norms and corruption form the core. Inequality is killing the peace for which we all long.

Progress towards the achievement of the SDGs would be undermined without responsive and accountable governance frameworks. The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), the only global legally binding anticorruption instrument, is mobilizing action for honest, transparent and accountable governance. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), as the custodian of UNCAC, actively contributes to the implementation of the 10th principle of the United Nations Global Compact, which states that “Business should work against corruption in any form, including bribery and extortion”.

We have a long way to go as civil societies and mandate-based organizations, and we have urgent work to do. Here are some things that civil society organisations (CSOs) can do to successfully achieve SDGs by eradicating corruption:

  • We must assess how corruption plays a role in relation to our area of SDG work.
  • Look at corruption risks at different stages of your SDG implementation plan.
  • We must pressure our government and companies to report on their SDG commitments.
  • Do spotlight reporting and focus on your priority topic, its very impactful
  • We must share captured data, success stories and challenges in SDG implementation and measure progress – online and offline.
  • Build a concerted voice with yourlocal, regional and international partners and networks, to make your campaigns and projects impactful. Stop working in silos, go for collective action.
  • Bring attention to minority communities in your country, as we know the motto of SDGs is to leave no one behind.

This Anti-corruption day let’s support United Nations’ action platform to be ‘United Against Corruption’, as corruption is one of the biggest obstacles to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Author: Arya Dev, Programme Analyst (Legal), Center of Excellence for Governance, Ethics and Transparency, Global Compact Network India

Thane Smart City To Be The 1st SDG City Of India


Global Compact Network India (GCNI) signsanMoU with Thane Smart City Limited (TSCL)

GCNI CEGET signed a Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Advisory MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Thane Smart City Limited on 31st May, 2019. Under the MoU CEGET will provide Thane Smart City Limited (TSCL) its assessment on SDG parameters and SDG advisory.

CEGET shall provide advisory services with respect to any of the chosen individual SDG/ SDGs that shall be prioritized after due process in the evaluation phase by TSCL. CEGET shall evaluate the city’s progress in meeting the SDGs at the city level through an internal assessment that would highlight strengths and areas of improvements for Thane. These would then become future reference points for the city in refining its approach to smart and sustainable development. The final output of the SDG Assessment shall be development of a Sustainability Framework for the city, based on the customized Key Performance Indicators and an amalgamation of international and local know-how and best practices. It shall serve as a policy tool to support TSCL in collecting and integrating data, and using those data sets to define a vision, set targets, monitor progress, and forecast trends—all while being able to compare themselves with peer cities.

Dr. Ashutosh Karnatak, Chairman, CEGET Committee, asserted that “A sound strategy for any organization should not be limited to commercial growth only and must include sustainable practices. He emphasized that sustainability of an organisation depends on PHP (performance, health and perception) and the unimpaired balance of these three elements is what keeps the organization growing. He asserted that our 65% population of India lives in villages so along with smart cities we should have more work on Sustainable Villages too”.

Mr. Sameer Unhale, Chief Executive Officer, Thane Smart City Limited, noted that “Thane Smart City Ltd is consistently aspiring to be sustainably smart. With the SDG Sustainability Framework coming out of our association with GCNI, we could inspire and impact 35 thousand odd cities and towns of the world. It is an exceptional opportunity for both parties to do something for posterity”.

Relaying the quintessential idea behind the MoU, Ms. Shabnam Siddiqui, Director CEGET said “SDG Assessment is meant to be a planning and advocacy tool that will prove to be a great asset in policy decisions and interventions for the city. Through this partnership SDGs will transcend from their current monitoring and reporting format to setting the ambitious roadmap that they were meant to do. While we at CEGET have been in discussion with multiple cities about the SDG Assessment idea for the last six months, Thane committed to being the SDG Champion by commissioning a voluntary SDG Assessment and setting a new benchmark for both cities and corporates. This will definitely be a game changer”.

2nd Deliberation Workshop: Accelerating Social Impact Solutions Through Collective Action Between Industry & Start-Ups

2nd Deliberation Workshop: Accelerating Social Impact Solutions Through Collective Action Between Industry & Start-Ups

CEGET organised its 2nd Deliberation Workshop: Accelerating Social Impact Solutions Through Collective Action Between Industry & Start-Ups at Bombay Chambers of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Mumbai on May 29, 2019. The event was curated in partnership with Chalk Talk.

With participation by over 40 business leaders, some of the key CEOs, CXOs, were present in the workshop, including the CEO of Thane Smart City, Mr Sameer Unhale. Deliberations were focused around SDG 6 (Water); SDG 12 (Consumption); SDG 11 (Cities) SDG 13 (Climate Action); SDG 17 (Partnerships).

A number of great ideas and innovations were shared by both speakers and audience. The challenge that came out of the deliberation was of replicability and scaling of innovations – two factors CEGET intends to explore in subsequent deliberations.