From Missing Link to Development Priority
Most Arab governments did not add fighting corruption to their reform programs till the end of 2010 as a response to popular demands for better living conditions. This work progressed alongside initiatives within the UNCAC framework. Corruption is defined as the abuse of entrusted authority for private gain (material or not). Corruption on the part of individuals and institutions leads to loss of confidence in those who govern and threatens political stability as well as disrupting the national distribution of wealth, leading to vast income disparities. In Arab countries ruling elites tend to remain in power long enough to form close alliances with political and economic elites and security institutions, paralyzing the state's oversight functions and turning the state into the elites' personal property. Although corruption exists in both developed and developing countries, is usually chronic and pervasive in developing countries, spreading to all levels and hurting the vulnerable more than others. Ratification of international anticorruption agreements is important in making progress against corruption, and all actors must be involved in these efforts. Laws and regulations must be formulated and steps taken to reduce corruption and its root causes, and to define it by special codes of conduct and regulations.
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