The 17 sustainable development goals adopted by the United Nations in 2015 were created to have "deep interconnections and many cross-cutting elements," per the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Zero hunger becomes more possible when poverty is reduced; a quality education is easier to achieve when a child's health and well-being are guaranteed; sustainable cities and communities are very likely to lead to responsible consumption and production, and so on.
Each SDG is essential to the others and, as a collective, to the future of the planet. But as interconnected goals, there is one crucial, neglected element to their achievement: the fight against corruption. As a key to global sustainable development, anti-corruption should not be buried as a subaction under SDG 16, Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions. It should be the 18th SDG. The Anti-Corruption Committee of Business at OECD — the official voice of business at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development— has proposed that the fight against corruption be added to the UN's 2030 agenda, and their proposal has my support.
In terms of wasted money, corruption is terrifically bad for business: about $3.6 trillion in U.S. dollars are lost to corruption each year. To give some perspective, the United Nations estimates that USD $5 to 7 trillion worth of annual investment is needed to achieve the UN SDGs...
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