Why focus on anti-corruption and responsible business? The answer is simple the existence of corruption has major negative effects on society. Corruption undermines democracy and the rule of law, leads to human rights violations, mainly affects poor people, and enables organized crime and terrorism.
Corruption also distorts markets and puts competition between companies out of play, which among other things causes low economic growth. Fighting corruption is therefore an important sustainability issue and crucial to achieving all the UN’s Global Sustainability Goals, therefore the fight against corruption can be seen as a fundamental goal. Corruption is included in goal 16 ”Peaceful and inclusive societies where subgoal 16.5 is to ”significantly reduce all forms of corruption and bribery ”. Transparency is an important tool in the fight against corruption. Sub-goal 16.6 is to build up efficient, reliable and transparent institutions with accountability at all levels.
The Council on Ethics’ engagement
Anti-corruption is in focus in many of the Council on Ethics’ dialogues. In recent years, the Council on Ethics has also focused on money laundering and, by arranging seminars, has facilitated the discussion on this issue between different stakeholders. The Council on Ethics had planned to conduct a seminar on money laundering in 2020 as a follow-up to what was carried out in 2019. Due to covid-19, this has not been possible.
Since 2007, the Council on Ethics has supported the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which works to combat corruption by creating transparency regarding payment flows between governments and companies in extractive industries.