Chairman of the function Pu R. Zamawia, Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an honour for me to be present here in this programme organized by PRISM on the occasion of International Anti Corruption Day 2011. On 31 October 2003, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention against Corruption and requested that the Secretary-General designate the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as secretariat for the Convention\'s Conference of States Parties. The Assembly also designated 9 December as International Anti-Corruption Day, to raise awareness of corruption and of the role of the Convention in combating and preventing it. The Convention entered into force in December 2005. The International Anti-Corruption Day is commemorated worldwide to raise awareness about corruption and its corrosive impact on development as well as on the role of the United Nations Convention against Corruption in combating and preventing Corruption. I convey my gratitude to the Peoples Right to Information and Development Implementing Society of Mizoram for organizing this seminar here in Mizoram.

 Corruption has many dimensions affecting political, economic and the social environment of all countries. It undermines democratic institutions, slows economic development and contributes to governmental instability.

 In the political sphere it undermines democracy and good governance.  It reduces accountability and distorts representation in policy making. It undermines the legitimacy of government and such democratic values as trust and tolerance.

 The impact of corruption on economic is that it leads to depletion of national wealth and is responsible for increased costs of goods and services, conversion of public wealth to private and personal property, inflation and imbalanced economic development.

 Corruption discourages cooperation among people working for the common good. Demanding and paying bribes becomes the tradition and results in social inequality and insecurity.

 The theme for the seminar is ‘How to effectively fight corruption\'. We must remember that corruption affects all of us and it is therefore our duty to fight against corruption. The voice of the people must be raised against this practice if we wish to move forward and progress.

 UNODC has launched a web-based anti-corruption portal known as TRACK (Tools and Resources for Anti-Corruption) featuring the Legal Library on the United Nations Convention against Corruption. An anti-corruption learning platform is also incorporated, providing a common space where analytical tools generated by partner organizations can be searched and accessed by users world-wide.

 In the 1990s initiatives were taken at an international level (in particular by the European Community, the Council of Europe, the OECD) to put a ban on corruption by issuing a series of anti-corruption standard-setting instruments to address the various forms of corruption.

 Indiaratified the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in June 2011. This will strengthen our anti-corruption efforts and facilitate international cooperation in trans-border cases of corruption.

 As a nation we have moved substantially forward in our battle against corruption. The task of ensuring transparency and accountability has acquired an  urgency as never before. The Right to Information is a powerful tool in ensuring transparency and accountability in our public life. Government ofIndiais committed to expeditiously move forward on a comprehensive agenda of executive, legal and technology reforms to curb corruption and deliver good governance. The recent spate of action taken by the Government of India against corruption has unfortunately portrayedIndiaas a corrupt nation. We know that this is not true and we must support the Government. As citizens ofIndiait is our duty to extend our cooperation and support to the Government in its battle against corruption. Other organizations should come forward like PRISM to participate by minimizing opportunities of corruption.

 Let us strengthen the hands of the Government and not just criticize its efforts. As citizens ofIndiawe should not tolerate or allow corruption to retard our progress and lower our image internationally. I am confident that the seminar will raise greater awareness on the role each of us as citizens of the State and the Nation can play in fighting against corruption and I convey my best wishes for the success of this seminar.