Speech about Corruption in Society and Fight against It

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In my speech, I am going to talk about this ever-growing and dire topic: “Corruption is a cancer. A cancer that steals from the poor, eats away at governance and moral fiber and destroys trust; it eats away at a citizen’s faith in democracy, diminishes the instinct for innovation and creativity”. These eloquent words from Joe Biden and Robert Zoellick are just as relevant here in this classroom today as they were when first spoken. They accurately describe the ongoing issue of corruption and why it’s so prevalent, especially in developing countries. So, what exactly is corruption?

Corruption (as defined in the Cambridge English Dictionary) involves dishonest or illegal behavior including a person in a position of power, for example openly accepting money for doing something noted as being illegal or found immoral. Corruption can be instituted in numerous forms: bribery, graft, extortion, kickback, cronyism and embezzlement leading to the unfair favoring of particular individuals over others. 76% think wealthy individuals often use their influence on government for their own interests. Nevertheless, each and every type of corruption is highly important. Furthermore, tackling them is critical to achieve progress and sustainable change in our world as it is our world: yours and mine. Corruption is a significant issue in today’s society, often devastating the economy and citizens, it creates inequalities in the distribution of income and wealth as well as affects a nation’s development economically and politically. £100 billion of dirty money passes through systems and services every year. It perpetuates the inequalities and discontent that form extremism, conflict and violence. Not only is this ever-growing issue unethical, but it also hinders development and undermines the founding principles of democracy.

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Empirical studies have shown that the poor pay the highest percentage of their income in bribes. Multiple studies have suggested that the poor may even be preyed upon as they are seen as powerless to complain. Every stolen or misdirected pound, dollar, euro, naira, peso or rupee robs the poor of an equal opportunity in life and prevents governments from investing in their human capital. This major issue has detrimental effects on the poorer members of our communities with increasing costs and reducing access to services, including health, education and justice. In Paraguay, the poorest households are forced to pay nearly 13% of their income in bribes; twice as much as the richest households. Countries capable of confronting corruption should use their human resources more efficiently, attract more investment and grow more rapidly. To make inroads against corruption we require collective determined efforts to overcome endowed interests. Transparency combined with open and unfiltered governance are typically only part of the story in our goal to achieve completely exempt world of corruption. But the political rewards to addressing corruption can regularly exceed the costs of upsetting interests and due to the cowardly actions of the governments in this particular area we will never move forward. We will continue to partake in the constant loop.

Each one of us has a world that they dream of. A world of their choices, their likes, their passions and desires. I too have a dream world of my own. I dream substantially of the world that I live in. I dream of a world spared of corruption. Although corruption is not endemic there are grave problems that need to be addressed, considering the disproportionate impact on the poor and most vulnerable, the diminishing trust in governance and with one another. This substandard practice is becoming increasingly integrated into us a society, everyone we know is touched by corruption and it is it is our duty, the duty of the youth to challenge corruption. In 2004, the Republic of Georgia fired 30,000 police officers (almost the entire traffic police force) due to corruption and built glass police stations to encourage an image of transparency. I urge you to remember that if our country fails, we fail but if our country soars, we too shall soar. We must get involved; we must care. It is not enough to sign a few petitions or think about what you want to happen in the world. We must act. Our thoughts will not change the world. Other people’s words will not decide our legacy. It is up to us. How will future generations remember us? John F. Kennedy once said: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. What can you, what can we - the future of Loreto, of the world - what is it that that we can do? We need to be conscious that we can change this corrupt system. Just us. Together.

My proposition begins with the acknowledgement and understanding that corruption is a global problem that subsequently requires a global solution. At the core of corruption is the distinctly enlightening outlook that “Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts… perhaps the fear of the loss of power”, as said by John Steinbeck. In this sense, fear can be crested through the ideal of political polarization. Now, you may wonder what political polarization? It is not a term you hear every day. Technically, it relates to citizens holding strong and moralized attitudes about political and societal issues, people becoming ideologically entrenched in their own values and political beliefs, thereby increasing the divide with citizens who hold different values and political beliefs. Furthermore, political polarization thus fuels a perception of society as a struggle between ‘us versus them’, and may yield high levels of mutual conflict between ideologically opposing groups like the Liberal Democrats vs The Conservatives (UK political groups). This should not be the case it is not ‘us vs them’, we are all in this together and allowing the perception of people’s ideology of the world control us is not right because we are all the same and were created in the same image. We need to end this; we need to absolve this discriminatory practice from our society because our indifference configures the best benefitting breeding ground for corruption to grow and eventually flourish, being spread through our hearts and minds from the way we speak to the way we act and the tolerance we demonstrate towards one another.

Did you know that as many as 2 in 3 people worldwide believe that ordinary citizens can make a difference in the fight against corruption?

In conclusion, my dream world would dimmish the growth of corruption through promoting equal opportunities, rewarding people adequately for their work and services rendered. These actions will begin to promote a more level playing field thus eradicating the need for sly underhanded plays in the form of corruption. Our governance will be deserved of their place and the vulnerable with have the support they need because without strong institutions impunity becomes the very foundation upon which our systems of corruption are built. If impunity is not demolished, all efforts to bring an end to corruption are in vain. Whether it’s taking on an abusive school system, exposing a crooked driving instructor or blocking the re-election of a corrupt mayor, we are demonstrating our power to bring about lasting change in our communities.

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Speech about Corruption in Society and Fight against It. (2023, January 31). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 13, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/speech-about-corruption-in-society-and-fight-against-it/
“Speech about Corruption in Society and Fight against It.” Edubirdie, 31 Jan. 2023, edubirdie.com/examples/speech-about-corruption-in-society-and-fight-against-it/
Speech about Corruption in Society and Fight against It. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/speech-about-corruption-in-society-and-fight-against-it/> [Accessed 13 Jul. 2024].
Speech about Corruption in Society and Fight against It [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Jan 31 [cited 2024 Jul 13]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/speech-about-corruption-in-society-and-fight-against-it/
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