The longer I have been Prime Minister, and the more I have seen in this job, the more I believe that we cannot hope to solve the big global challenges of our time without making a major dent in the whole cycle of corruption.
For a start, we can be clear about the scale and extent of the problem.
José Ugaz tells us that every year one in four people around the world pay a bribe to access public services.
Furthermore, people actually want us to deal with this problem, every bit as much as they want us to tackle issues like poverty and migration.
They want the law to be upheld and they want the corrupt to be punished, with justice and recompense for those who have suffered.
Make no mistake, corruption affects us all, Britain included.
From tax evasion and overseas territories who have been accused of hiding the proceeds of corruption, to an MPs’ expenses scandal that tore at the fabric of the world’s oldest democracy, we have our own problems and we are very much still dealing with them.Through our chairmanship of the United Nations High Level Panel, Britain secured the inclusion of tackling corruption at the heart of the new Sustainable Development Goals to eradicate absolute poverty from our world.On my watch, the UK has signed up to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative – and we’re leading a global drive to get other countries on board and clean up a sector which has for too long been vulnerable to corruption. I am determined that the UK must not become a safe haven for corrupt money from around the world.For too long there has been something of an international taboo over stirring up concerns.For too long it has just been too easy for those in authority to ignore or pretend not to know what is going on.Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.This publication is available at https://uk/government/publications/against-corruption-a-collection-of-essays/against-corruption-a-collection-of-essays Corruption is the cancer at the heart of so many of our problems in the world today.It steals vital resources from our schools and hospitals as corrupt individuals and companies evade the taxes they owe.It can even undermine our security, as Sarah Chayes argues in her essay, if the perceived corruption of local governments makes people more susceptible to the poisonous ideology of extremists.That is why I have made tackling corruption such a political priority.From the 2010 Bribery Act to becoming the first major country in the world to establish a public central registry of who really owns and controls companies, I am determined that we should do everything we can to demonstrate leadership on these issues and put our own house in order.