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This publication is available at https: Foreword by David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Corruption is the cancer at the heart of so many of our problems in the world today. It destroys jobs and holds back growth, costing the world economy billions of pounds every year.
It traps the poorest in the most desperate poverty as corrupt governments around the world syphon off funds and prevent hard-working people from getting the revenues and benefits of growth that are rightfully theirs.
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.
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.
If we continue to hide from this problem, how will developing countries blessed with natural resources ever break out of the poverty trap? How will we stop people from risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean unless we enable them to build a better life back at home?
In the end, we have to deal with corruption if we are to have any hope of a truly prosperous and secure future. 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. Yet while corruption is such a huge problem, the national and global efforts to deal with it are often weak.
No country has a perfect record on these issues — and so there is a hesitation in raising them. 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.
As David Walsh puts it in his essay: I profoundly believe that this has to change — and it has to change in every country.
Make no mistake, corruption affects us all, Britain included. That is why I have made tackling corruption such a political priority.
From the 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. Through our chairmanship of the G8 and the Summit at Lough Erne, I put tax, trade and transparency on the global agenda and sought agreement on a global standard for the automatic exchange of information over who pays taxes where.
While many said it would never happen, today jurisdictions have committed to implementing the international standard for exchange of tax information on request and more than 95 jurisdictions have committed to implementing the new global common reporting standard on tax transparency by 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.
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