Asia Pacific Human Development Report 2008 - Tackling Corruption, Transforming Lives

12 Jun 2008


This Report comes on the heels of the landmark Second Session of the Conference of State Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption in Bali,Indonesia, which is aiding countries in the implementation of their anti-corruption efforts.

The United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) is the first legally binding, international anti-corruption instrument that provides a unique opportunity to mount a global response to a global problem. This Regional Human Development Report examines the problem of corruption from the perspective of the countries of Asia and the Pacific. In doing so, it builds on the momentum around the UNCAC mobilization, and hopes to contribute to the agenda for change.

This publication is also timely – this is the halfway mark in the timetable for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, and it addresses corruption surrounding the exploitation of natural resources, at a time when concerns about climate change are reaching a peak in this most dynamic region of the world. The Report documents the challenge corruption poses for human development and the solutions that are being attempted to address this multi-dimensional problem.

The focus on corruption from a human development perspective makes this Report unique. It hones in on the price corruption extracts from the poor and disadvantaged,especially in their daily lives. It spotlights hidden forms of corruption that get less media attention. These include the passing of laws and regulations which allow corruption to be conducted within legal bounds. The misleadingly termed ‘petty corruption’, which takes its toll on vast numbers of people, is just as weighty as ‘grand corruption’, which gets the lion’s share of publicity. Cross-border issues, increasingly important for this rapidly globalizing region, are also explored.

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