ACIAC celebrates the role of Arab youth in transforming the region
The wave of transformations that many Arab countries have been undergoing since early 2011 has revealed the region's societies thirst for transparency and participation. Young men and women representing more than 20% of the population, have been particularly relevant in this process. The commitment of millions of young people across the region and their ability to engage and mobilize their communities has deeply touched the entire world
Beirut - On the occasion of the commemoration of the 2012 International Anti-Corruption Day on 9 December, the Non-Governmental Group of the Arab Anti-Corruption and Integrity Network (ACINET) has partnered with UNDP's Regional Project on "Anti-Corruption and Integrity in Arab Countries" (ACIAC) to celebrate the role of Arab youth in the current momentum of transformation and their aspiration to have transparent and corrupt free governance systems.
In his statement on this occasion, Mr. Abdessalam Aboudrar, the Chair of ACINET, and also the President of the Moroccan Anti-Corruption Agency, highlighted the role that civil society can play, especially the youth in advancing these transformations “in the current situation that the Arab region is witnessing, Arab governments, especially new ones, can benefit greatly from the expertise of individuals and organizations in civil society, and will need to partner with, and proactively engage the youth movements, to become more effective in their fight against.”
The coordinator of ACINET's Non-Governmental Group, Dr. Azmi Shuaibi, and also the Anti-Corruption Commissioner of the Coalition for Accountability and Integrity in Palestine, known as AMAN, said "this initiative emphasizes the notion that civil society in the region, particularly the youth, have a very critical role to play, and that more cooperation is needed from all parties, especially from governments, to ensure that this role reaches its full potential"
In the framework of the mentioned partnership between ACINET's Non-Governmental Group and UNDP, three civil society organizations from Lebanon, Yemen and Tunis have been selected, based on a competitive process, to undertake activities that would promote civic and youth engagement on the national anti-corruption agendas and increase the momentum for concrete action by decision-makers.
The Tunisian Association for Financial Transparency will organize on December 9th a public fair in the city of Sousse that uses art as means to engage youth and society at large on anti-corruption issues. It will include collective paintings by artists and students of the School of Fine Arts, and a storytelling contest on the subject. This will be preceded by outreach actions to schools in the area with a view to engaging students and raising their awareness about the United Nations Convention against Corruption and their country's commitment to implement it.
The Lebanese Transparency Association will organize a major event at the UNESCO Palace in Beirut under the High Patronage of the President of the Republic. The event will bring together around 1,200 young men and women from different Lebanese regions and be attended by key government officials as well as national and international public figures. Statements, discussions, and audiovisual materials will address the subject of corruption in a country that is politically polarized and where corruption is seen as a much needed area for joint action with significant potential to unite the new generation. The event will be concluded with a musical performance by the renowned performing artist Ms. Oumayma El-Khalil who will be singing about change and the better future.
The Studies and Economic Media Center in Yemen will help the International Anti-Corruption Day reach the streets of Sana'a through a large-scale awareness campaign that uses audiovisual materials and provides the youth with platforms to envision ways through which they can anchor notions of integrity and transparency in the national dialogue and the future constitution and governance system of the country.
“Youth in the Arab region have demonstrated a high level of maturity and sensitivity in underlining the menace that corruption and the lack of transparency pose on their own development and security and the future of the region as a whole”, said Mr Arkan El-Seblani, the manager of UNDP's Regional Anti-Corruption Project, "transforming this awareness into peaceful and constructive action is the next big challenge", he stressed.
ACINET governmental members including anti-corruption agencies in many Arab countries will also be commemorating the International Anti-Corruption Day, which is celebrated each year on December 9 since 2003, joining the global campaign that is being supported by UNDP and UNODC across the globe.