International Anti-Corruption Day...United World Against Corruption

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) QNA

Corruption is considered the biggest obstacle to achieving development for all countries of the world, and it is like an epidemic that, if you do not fight, it will have devastating effects economically, politically, and socially, and leads to sabotaging all aspects of life.

The world celebrates every year under the umbrella of the UN International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD) to highlight the close link between corruption, peace, security, and development.

The UN says that the core of that link is the notion that tackling this crime is the right and responsibility of everyone, and that only through cooperation and the involvement of each and every person and institution we can overcome the negative impact of this crime. States, government officials, civil servants, law enforcement officers, media representatives, the private sector, civil society, academia, the public and youth alike all have a role to play in uniting the world against corruption.

This was also confirmed by UN Special Advocate on the Prevention of Corruption and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Doha-based Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Center H E Dr. Ali bin Fetais Al Marri,said“The roles played by each of us in society, at work and in school, are what lead to the reduction of corruption to the lowest possible rate, and help ensure that the community lives under optimal justice, fairness, transparency and equality.” For the international community to come together to fight corruption, the UN adopted in 2003 an international convention against corruption, and the members signed Resolution (4/58) to make Dec. 9 an International Day against Corruption,' to raise awareness of corruption and the role of the Convention in combating and preventing it and to possess the necessary political will to confront this devastating pest.

The State of Qatar was and still is one of the prominent countries that has taken advanced steps at the national and international levels, as the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority (ACTA) was established in 2011, to achieve oversight, transparency, and integrity of the public office and combating corruption in all its forms.

Qatar has also provided the necessary support for the establishment of the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Center (ROLACC) in Doha, which was inaugurated in 2013, and since then it is making great efforts to promote respect for the rule of law and fight corruption and to provide various training programs, including for prosecutors and judges in many countries.

Qatar has also emerged as an active and serious country in the fight against corruption globally, by joining the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and by allocating an annual award bearing the name of H H the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, aimed at raising awareness of the importance of addressing corruption and encouraging the implementation of the decisive measures of the UNCAC, and honoring exceptional projects and efforts aimed at combating corruption.

As a result, Qatar achieved advanced results in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for the year 2021 issued by Transparency International, as Qatar scored 63 points on the index, which made it rank second in the Gulf and Arab countries, and at the global level, the State of Qatar ranked 31st out of 180 countries and territories included in the index.

With the aim of preserving the leadership of the State of Qatar and strengthening its position, as it stands among the most transparent countries in the world, the ACTA has taken many steps to enhance integrity, transparency, and prevention of corruption, including the completion of the preparation of the draft national strategy for integrity, transparency and corruption prevention (2022 - 2026), in cooperation and coordination with the authorities related to the system of integrity, transparency, prevention, and combating corruption in the country, as it relied on preparing the strategy on a set of national, regional, and international references, including the permanent constitution of the State of Qatar and Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV 2030).

The commission also proposed many projects and procedures to enhance integrity and transparency, in the implementation of the requirements of the UNCAC, including the anti-conflict of interest law, given that the issue of addressing conflicts of interest is one of the basic matters that help combat corruption in the country, in addition to the law regulating the right to access information, as the right to access information is one of the basic principles of human rights, it has been guaranteed by most international agreements.

Qatar attaches great importance to promoting transparency and integrity, and the ACTA has taken great efforts that have led it to occupy advanced international positions, foremost of which is the development of educational and training programs to educate state employees, especially employees of financial institutions, and training them to use advanced methods to detect corruption and prepare them to cooperate with the Authority in this field. The Authority, in cooperation with national training centers and institutions, has implemented programs and training courses in various fields. The State's interest is not limited to applying the best international standards and practices in the areas of transparency, integrity, and prevention of corruption, but at the same time, it is interested in supporting international efforts in this field in the framework of cooperation with relevant international organizations, including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA), and other relevant international organizations.

The Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani International Anti-Corruption Excellence Award is the best witness to the efforts of the State of Qatar internationally in combating corruption, as it is a Qatari-born global initiative with goals and dimensions that consolidates good governance and transparency and unleashes the hand of justice in a successful war against corruption.

The award of Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani constitutes an annual international event to combat corruption since its approval in 2016, as it is distributed in coordination with the UNODC to individuals and organizations that contribute effectively to the fight against corruption in four fields: achievement, innovation, research, and youth creativity, and the award coincides with the celebration of the IACD, as Doha hosts this year a ceremony to present the award winners.

The greater purpose of this award is to serve as a tool to highlight exemplary and noteworthy actions and good practices globally, as well as to recognize, promote, collect and disseminate anti-corruption examples from around the world; In addition to raising awareness, support, and solidarity, to combat corruption, in addition to encouraging and stimulating similar and new initiatives towards establishing a corruption-free society.

This resulted in the approval of the global program for the implementation of the Doha Declaration, which lasted for the period 2016-2021, with the completion of projects aimed at strengthening the capabilities of countries, especially developing countries, in many areas, most notably the integrity of the judiciary, combating corruption and immunizing youth from crime, as more than a hundred countries benefited from them.

However, the award represents the culmination of the strategy adopted by Qatar locally, regionally and internationally. The State of Qatar hosted the work of the third session of the Conference of the States Parties (COSP) to the UNCAC in Nov. 2009, which adopted the mechanism for reviewing the implementation of the Convention, and it became a major milestone in the joint international effort to combat corruption and enhance adherence to international agreements.

Doha also established the ROLACC to build specialized knowledge and raise individual and institutional competencies, which leads to strengthening the rule of law and combating corruption, explaining that it is a non-governmental center specialized in research, training, and providing technical support to countries of the world in the areas of the rule of law and combating corruption.

In addition, Qatar participated in the development of the Arab Anti-Corruption Convention (AACC), and is keen to implement its procedures and support other Arab countries in implementation, in addition to the ACTA organizing regional workshops on aspects of implementing the mechanism for reviewing the implementation of the UNCAC, best practices in the field of measuring and evaluating transparency and integrity, and many other topics related to combating corruption.

Qatar continued its activities by hosting the 13th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in April 2015, which issued the Doha Global Declaration, which represented a comprehensive road map leading the efforts of the international community to address organized crime and related crimes, such as corruption, drugs and terrorism.

Regionally, the State of Qatar participated in setting up the Arab Anti-Corruption Convention, and is keen to implement its procedures and support other Arab countries in implementing it. In addition, the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority (ACTA) organized regional workshops on aspects of implementing the mechanism for reviewing the implementation of the Anti-Corruption Convention and best practices in the field of measuring and evaluating transparency, integrity, and many other topics related to combating corruption.

States are not the only ones that need to stand united in the face of this global problem, and although the executive authority bears the greatest burden in combating corruption, there is an important role that every person should play at all levels, to monitor legal violations, and exposing the corrupt and putting pressure on governments, with the aim of strengthening the principles of applying governance in government agencies, approving policies, regulations and necessary measures, and establishing effective institutions of oversight and accountability that do not exclude anyone, no matter how high his authority is in the state structures. Failure to confront corruption and put an end to it signals the ruin of society and the state together.

There are factors that contribute to the spread of corruption; poverty, ignorance, and the predominance of traditional values based on preferring close relatives, according to lineage, kinship, and sect in institutions, weak religious and moral values, as well as poor salaries or a large disparity in the rights of members of the same society, and the absence of equality leads to the ease of some individuals for favoritism, to accept bribes, and pass things over the law's head.

Corruption at the top of the pyramid of power pushes the plundering of the country's budget and the flight of its money abroad, and expels foreign investments that could invest in natural resources or establish infrastructure, and thus prevents the establishment of productive projects that serve the state and citizens, which leads to complete failure and an increase in poverty and unemployment.

Corruption indicators for the year 2021, issued by Transparency International, show that levels of corruption are still in place around the world, as 86% of countries have made little progress in the past ten years, and that countries that consistently violate civil liberties score lower on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).

The index ranks 180 countries and territories according to the levels of corruption in their public sector, according to experts and the business community, and the index relies on 13 independent data sources. In the Arab world, 22 Arab countries signed the Arab Convention against Corruption, which included 35 articles, stressing that the agreement comes from their conviction that corruption is a multi-form criminal phenomenon with negative effects on moral values, political life, and economic and social aspects. It bears in mind that the role of addressing corruption is not limited to the official authorities of the State, but also includes individuals and civil society institutions, which should play an effective role in this field. The agreement is a desire to activate Arab and international efforts aimed at combating and addressing corruption and for the purpose of facilitating the course of international cooperation in this field, especially with regard to extradition and mutual legal assistance, as well as property recovery, and an affirmation of the need for Arab cooperation to prevent and combat corruption, as transnational phenomenon.


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