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OHCHR and good governance

About good governance and human rights

Good governance is the process whereby public institutions conduct public affairs, manage public resources and guarantee the realization of human rights in a manner essentially free of abuse and corruption, and with due regard for the rule of law. The true test of 'good' governance is the degree to which it delivers on the promise of human rights: civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. Read more about good governance and human rights.

The cost of corruption

Every year $1 trillion is paid in bribes while an estimated $2.6 trillion are stolen through corruption – a sum equivalent to more than 5 per cent of the global GDP. In developing countries, according to the United Nations Development Programme, funds lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times the amount of official development assistance. Corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. No country, region or community is immune.

The United Nations is fighting this global scourge through initiatives like the global campaign launched jointly by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The United Nations Convention against Corruption, adopted in 2003, exists as the only legally-binding, universal anti-corruption instrument.  Read more about corruption and human rights.

OHCHR's work on good governance

OHCHR is committed to working with States, National Human Rights Institutions and Civil Society to foster an environment that respects and protects human rights through good governance. This means ensuring legal frameworks, institutions, political, managerial and administrative processes respond to the rights and needs of the population. Human rights standards provide a set of values to guide the work of governments and other political and social actors – and also ensure they can be held accountable.