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Largest troop contributors to UN Peacekeeping at high risk of corruption

11th April 2016

Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India major peacekeeping contributors but amongst most prone to corruption

New York – 4th April 2016 – The top 30 Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) to UN peacekeeping operations are amongst those most at risk of defence corruption, according to new research from Transparency International.

Bangladesh, India and Ethiopia make up over one quarter of all UN peacekeeping troops, yet have been judged to be at either a very high or high risk of corruption in their armed forces. Transparency International’s Government Defence Corruption Index graded states from A to F on their risk of defence corruption, with A representing the best and F the lowest end of the scale.

Of the top 30 TCC’s only Italy (C) scores higher than a D, whilst six states received F grades, meaning they are at a critical risk of defence corruption. The UN relies on individual TCC’s to discipline misconduct by troops whilst on missions, yet there is no evidence that breaches of codes of conduct such as engaging in corrupt activities are addressed.

Katherine Dixon, Director Transparency International Defence and Security Programme, said:

“UN peacekeepers operate in some of the most fragile environments in the world, so it is extremely concerning that the majority of defence forces contributing to operations are at such a high risk of corruption. This does little to instil confidence that troops on the ground are behaving with integrity. And recent allegations of gross misconduct carried out by peacekeeping troops prove just how real the threat is.

We continue to support the UN’s efforts to ensure that those deployed on peace operations set the highest standards and do not risk contributing to the instability they’re trying to stop. But we should be under no illusions that this is a tough challenge.”

Major Troop Contributing Countries, including Bangladesh, Brazil, Burundi, Cameroon, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Morocco, Rwanda, and South Africa, do not train their troops and commanders on how to fight corruption in mission environments before they deploy.

Corruption drives conflict and instability; it provides financing for organised criminal groups, leads to public distrust in state institutions and intervention forces, and can lead to violent extremism. Corruption poses a direct threat to the successful implementation of peacekeeping mandates.

Read Corruption & Peace Operations: Risks and recommendations for Troop Contributing Countries and the United Nations.