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Int’l Anti-Corruption Day today

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Staff Reporter The International Anti-Corruption Day 2014 will be observed in the country today as elsewhere in the world, aiming to raise voice against the growing graft, which the UN says, attacks the foundation of democratic institutions. This year’s theme of the day is: ‘Break the corruption chain’. To mark the day, the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) and other bodies will arrange various programs. The ACC will bring out a procession, led by its acting chairman M Shahabuddin, in the city at 9:30 am on the day and hold a human chain in front of the National Press Club. The national anti-graft body will also arrange discussions, anti-corruption cultural programs, screening documentaries and talk-shows in radio and TV channels. The TIB will organize a discussion and distribute the TIB Investigative Journalism Award 2014 at city’s Drik Gallery on Tuesday morning. Prime Minister’s International Affairs adviser Prof Gowher Rizvi will be present at the discussion as the chief guest. A weeklong cartoon exhibition will be inaugurated at the same venue on Tuesday afternoon. The TIB in cooperation with its associate bodies will organize human chain programs, cartoon and art exhibitions, discussions, information fairs, youth rallies, street dramas, cultural programs, oath taking and film festivals at some 45 points of the country. On October 31, 2003, the UN General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention against corruption and requested that the Secretary-General designate the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as secretariat for the Convention’s Conference of States Parties. The Assembly also designated December 9 as the International Anti-Corruption Day, to raise awareness about corruption and the role of the Convention in combating and preventing the menace. The Convention came into force in December 2005. In a message on the occasion, the United Nations says corruption is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon that affects all countries. Corruption undermines democratic institutions, slows economic development and contributes to governmental instability. Corruption attacks the foundation of democratic institutions by distorting electoral processes, perverting the rule of law and creating bureaucratic quagmires whose only reason for existing is the soliciting of bribes. Economic development is stunted because foreign direct investment is discouraged and small businesses within the country often find it impossible to overcome the ‘start-up costs’ required because of corruption, the message says.