Asserting that Corruption siphons funding away from critical services, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday asked countries like India and China to join the OECD's 38-member Anti-Bribery Convention.
The convention aims at reducing corruption in developing countries by encouraging sanctions against bribery in international business transactions carried out by companies based in the Convention member countries.
"Through our bilateral diplomacy and at the G-20, we are encouraging major economies such as China, India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia to join the convention as well," Clinton said at Transparency International-USA's Annual Integrity Award Dinner on Thursday.
"We support the follow-through that's necessary to enforce anti-corruption norms such as the new review process that promotes implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption," she said.
Clinton said corruption and the lack of transparency eats away like a cancer the trust people should have in their government, at the potential for broad-based, sustainable, inclusive growth.
"Corruption stifles entrepreneurship, siphons funding away from critical services, poor fiscal transparency makes it impossible to hold governments accountable. And if these problems go on long enough, if they run deep enough, they literally can and have been shaking societies to the core," she said.
The US, she said, has made it a priority to fight corruption and promote transparency and the country has been at this for quite a number of years now.
In 1996, the US played a major role in developing the first legally-binding commitment by governments to fight corruption.
Clinton said the US is expanding and mobilising a global consensus in support of greater transparency – a global architecture of anti-corruption institutions and practices.
"Along with Brazil, we launched the Open Government Partnership. It is a network of support for government leaders and citizens working to bring more transparency and accountability to governments," she said.
"We're building this anti-corruption consensus in other ways as well. In what is called the Deauville Partnership, we are working with our Arab partners on anti-corruption, open government, and asset recovery efforts," she said.
"At the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), we were pleased to welcome Colombia and Russia into the Working Group on Bribery last year. It will be an important milestone when both have become full parties to the Anti-Bribery Convention," Clinton said.