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Government CorruptionOne in four people seeking to use a public service are forced to pay a bribe to receive access, according to the Global Corruption Barometer released by Transparency International.1 Six in every ten people around the world cite their government as inadequately resisting or fighting corruption.2 The Middle East and North Africa had the lowest citizen ratings. Yemen, Madagascar, Ukraine, Gabon, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Moldova’s citizens report the lowest perceptions of their respective governments. Nations whose citizens reported the highest perceptions of their government’s ability to resist corruption are Thailand, Indonesia, Honduras, Guatemala, Botswana and Ecuador.3 Police and elected government representatives were viewed as the most corrupt parties, with 36 percent of respondents citing that “most” or “all” police officers and elected officials were Read More corrupt.4 Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia and the Netherlands had the highest view of the public sector, while Moldova, Yemen, Lebanon, Liberia and Venezuela had the lowest perception of the public sector.5 The European Union had the lowest bribery rate, 9 percent. In comparison, one in every three people in the Commonwealth of Independent States in Eurasia, the Middle East and North Africa had to pay a bribe to receive a public service within the last twelve months — Latin America, the Caribbean and were not far behind with 29 and 28 percent averages.6 Politically connected firms in Russia account for nearly 80 percent of market capitalization, and in the United Kingdom politically connected firms account for 40 percent of market capitalization.7 Lobbying expenses in the United States amount to $200,000 per legislator and rise each year.8 Over 50 percent of OECD executives admitted using their personal and familial contacts to garner public contracts in non-OECD countries.9 Show Less
War and ConflictOver 108 million people were killed in wars throughout the twentieth century alone.1 In 2016, $1.686 trillion was spent on arms internationally. The United States spent $611 billion, more than three times that of China, whose budget was just $215 billion.2 In 2017, over 68.5 million people were displaced as a result of war, particularly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Myanmar and Syria.3 Forty million of which were internally displaced by armed conflict in nations such as Somalia, Mali, Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, South Sudan and Nigeria.4 The UNHCR estimates that 44,400 are forced to leave their homes every day as a result of conflict and violence.5 World War II is known to be the deadliest war in history, with between 56 and Read More 85 million civilian and military casualties.678 Show Less
Government OtherCorrupt government officials and politicians in developing and transition countries are believed to solicit and receive bribes totalling $20-40 billion USD annually.1 Large private companies often make “facilitation payments” to politicians or government officials to expedite projects or policies; however, these payments help perpetuate government and bureaucratic corruption.2 Businesses and governments are too closely linked in many countries, resulting in conflicts of interest and derailing the efficacy of the democratic process.3 Business often have a disproportionate amount of influence on government policies, primarily through the abuse and overuse of corporate lobbying practices.4 Politically connected firms in Russia account for nearly 80% of market capitalization, and in the United Kingdom politically connected firms account for 40% of market capitalization— still a troublingly high percentage.5 Lobbying expenses Read More in the United States amount to $200,000 per legislator, expenses which rise each year.6 In Brussels alone, 2,500 lobbying organizations comprised of over 15,000 lobbyists regularly influence European Union policies.7 Over 50% of OECD executives admitted using their personal and familial contacts to garner public contracts in non-OECD countries.8 According to Transparency International’s 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index, the countries with the highest levels of institutional corruption are Somalia, North Korea, Afghanistan, Sudan, South Sudan, Libya, and Iraq.9 The countries with the lowest levels of corruption are Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Singapore, and Switzerland.10 The countries most likely to engage in bribery when operating abroad include Russia, China, and Mexico. The countries least likely to engage in bribery abroad are Belgium, Canada, The Netherlands, and Switzerland.11 1 Transparency International Corruption Index 2-8 Ibid 9 http://www.transparency.org/cpi2013/results 10 Ibid 11 http://www.transparency.org/whatwedo/publication/global_corruption_report_2009 Show Less
Legal AdvocacyAdvocacy is the process of speaking on another’s behalf in support of a specific cause, proposal or stance. In a legal context, lawyers advocate for the interests of their client.1 In 2016, 86 percent of low-income individuals with legal issues received insufficient or no legal assistance. Of all low-income households, 71 percent have some form of legal issue.2 In 2013, 98 percent of tenants being evicted in the United States lacked legal representation, and 95 percent of parents in cases disputing child support were without legal aid. In New York State Courts alone, 1.5 million people appeared in court without representation in 2015.3 Forty to sixty percent of middle income Americans have unmet legal needs.4 The United States Sixth Amendment states, “in all criminal prosecutions, the accused Read More shall enjoy the right . . . to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”5 Global legal services vary in structure and oversight. In a study performed by the United Nations, 35 percent of nations responding reported that a bar association oversees their legal aid system. Twenty percent of respondents reported that a legal aid board oversees legal aid, another 20 percent cited a ministry of justice, and 11 percent reported no monitoring mechanism.6 Of all responding nations, 97 percent said that those in the legal system are left to seek out legal services on their own, presupposing that individuals are aware of their right to legal counsel.7 Show Less
Peace and ReconciliationPeacekeeping is defined as international enforcement and supervision of a truce between hostile states or communities.1 The United Nations is one of the leading organizations in international peacekeeping. The United Nations’ three tenants for the construction and facilitation of peacekeeping are consent of the parties involved, impartiality and lack of force — unless in self-defense According to the United Nations, peace enforcement and peacekeeping are distinct. Peace enforcement does not require mutual consent, and may include force. However, peacekeeping requires consent, and uses all means necessary to avoid force, unless mandated by UN authorities, or the parties involved in the conflict.2 Should a peacekeeping deployment be deemed necessary after analysis of the conflict by multiple departments within the United Nations, the nations involved contribute military personnel Read More to the operation.3 With both party’s consent, the United Nations facilitates a conversation between the parties to negotiate peace terms.4 Approximately one million men and women have served in the United Nations since 1948,5 and over 3,500 have died in their peacekeeping efforts.6 Show Less
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