Speech at the Press Conference on the “National University Students Integrity Education Activity Month”

09 Dec 2013

Speech by Patrick at the Press Conference on the “National University Students Integrity Education Activity Month

9th December, 2013

Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to join you here today at the Press Conference on the “National University Students Integrity Education Activity Month” co-organized by the China Integrity Education Network (CIEN) and UNDP. On behalf of UNDP China, I would like to extend my appreciation to the China Integrity Education Network (CIEN) and over 40 universities involved in organizing this month long activity to celebrate and commemorate the 10th “International Anti-Corruption Day”.

UNDP’s work in tackling corruption derives from our mandate to support countries to overcome obstacles to development, including by building capacity for effective and honest governance. Since 2009, UNDP and UNODC have worked together to raise the profile of the International Anti-Corruption Day through public campaigns. The campaign aims to bring together people from all walks of society in the fight against corruption, serves as a global call for action against corruption and raises awareness about the United Nations Convention against Corruption. The campaign them for 2013 is Zero Corruption, 100% development. Corruption undermines human development and democracy. It reduces access to public services by diverting public resources for private gain. It hinders economic development by distorting markets and damaging private sector integrity. It also strikes the heart of democracy by corroding rule of law, democratic institutions and public trust in leaders. The theme for this year reinforces the message that no development can be sustained without addressing the root causes of corruption.

There is no doubt that the fight against corruption is an important part of education in universities. Since the late 1990’s, with the fast development of university infrastructure construction and an increasing demand for university enrolment, corruption in higher education has become a prominent social problem in China. UNDP is committed to working with China to address corruption in higher education based on our international experiences and most importantly, in collaboration with CIEN, to adapt the lessons we have learnt to China’s unique situation. We expect our close cooperation toward building good governance in the higher education system to prevent corruption. We hope to propose concrete policies and strategic advise on university governance based on research and analysis from typical corruption cases. Based on the recommendations, we plan to pilot the implementation of the countermeasures of corruption and integrity reform plans with participation of the youth. And thirdly, we hope to incorporate project results into the Education Integrity Plan 2013-2017 of Beijing and Guangdong, as a basis for the scaling up of pilot initiatives to other universities nationwide.

It is now my honour to read to you the Message from the United Nations Secretary General to the International Anti-Corruption Day. The Message is focus on the theme for this year’s anticorruption campaign.