By Michael Pedersen, Associate Director, Head of Partnering Against Corruption Initiative at the World Economic Forum

City-skyline Over the next couple of days, leaders from business, government and civil society will convene in New York City to discuss the most pressing challenges and creative solutions to fighting corruption.

Corruption is one of the most pervasive obstacles to social and economic development. It distorts markets, stifles economic growth, hampers democracy and undermines the rule of law. With an estimated US$ 1 trillion paid in bribes each year, there is an urgent need to step up the fight against corruption.

On 8 December, the World Economic Forum will bring together signatories of the Partnering Against Corruption Initiative, a platform for companies to mitigate corruption-related risk, to share challenges and best practices and to develop new solutions.

On 9 December, there will be a series of anti-corruption events at the United Nations Headquarters to celebrate International Anti-Corruption Day. Among them will be a joint event co-organized by the International Chamber of Commerce, the Partnering Against Corruption Initiative, Transparency International and the UN Global Compact.

I will continue to post over the next several days with updates from these events.

Finally, we are very excited by the overwhelming enthusiasm we have received for the End Corruption Now Facebook page. In five short weeks, nearly 1,500 people have become fans of the page and the number is climbing every day. This response is a powerful reminder that corruption is not just a concern for businesses and governments; individuals around the world are calling out for action and, at least from my perspective, this is the first step in collaboration.