Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Kerry stated “corruption complicates every single security, diplomatic, and social initiative we undertake.”
“We have to acknowledge in all quarters of leadership that the plagues of violent extremism, greed, lust for power, and sectarian exploitation often find their nourishment where governments are fragile and leaders are incompetent or dishonest,” Kerry said in a keynote address to the forum.
“It has been reported that over 50 people including government officials stole over $9billion in Nigeria.
“The fact is there is nothing, absolutely nothing, more demoralizing and disempowering to any citizen of any nation than the belief the system is rigged against them and that people in positions of power are — to use a diplomatic term of art — crooks who are stealing the future of their own people; and by the way, depositing their ill-gotten gains in ostensibly legitimate financial institutions around the world,” Kerry said.
“The bottom line is that it’s everybody’s responsibility to condemn and expose corruption, to hold perpetrators accountable, and to replace a culture of corruption,” Kerry said.
“Never forget: the impact of corruption touches everyone,” he said. “We all pay for it. So we have to wage this fight collectively — not reluctantly, but wholeheartedly by embracing standards that make corruption the exception, not the norm.”