UNDP and UNODC help Iraq combat corruption
Baghdad – After suffering for decades from poor economic oversight and ineffective administrative practices, Iraq’s government on Wednesday launched the country’s first Anti-Corruption Strategy, developed with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
“This is not a theoretical strategy, but one with a clear vision and tangible steps towards combating corruption,” stressed Nuri Al-Maliki, Iraq’s Prime Minister, when introducing his government’s national plan to fight graft.
At the same time he emphasized the importance of building an anti-corruption culture across all governmental institutions and educational curriculums, as well as amongst the general public, noting the new strategy is a victory for the people of Iraq.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Ad Melkert, commended the Iraqi authorities and civil society organisations for developing such a comprehensive national strategy to combat fraud, reiterating the UN’s continued support to stamp out corruption in the country.
“The United Nations, through UNDP, UNODC and with the support of international donors, are privileged to have participated in providing technical assistance for the formulation of this remarkable National Anti-Corruption Strategy,” Mr. Melkert said, adding: “We pledge the continued support of the UN for the implementation of this plan.”
The first of its kind in Iraq, the National Anti-Corruption Strategy was produced through a broad collaborative effort that included the Joint Anti-Corruption Council (JACC), the Commission on Integrity, Board of Supreme Audit, Inspectors General, Committee of Integrity of the Council of Representatives, Central Bank and several non-governmental organisations.
Based on an assessment of the country’s concerns and vulnerabilities on corruption - utilising globally recognized tools developed by UNODC - the strategy includes 200 action items to combat graft.
Starting in June this year, it will be rolled out and presented to elected officials, civil servants, religious and community leaders, civil society representatives and journalists across Iraq, through a series of workshops taking place in all 18 governorates of the county. The six-month campaign, ending in December, will also launch a national rally for integrity, coordinated by the Commission on Integrity.
The Government of Iraq became a signatory to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in March 2008, declaring it would develop and implement a comprehensive national anti-corruption strategy.
To support this important commitment, UNDP and UNODC launched a five-year programme to help Iraq fight corruption, including supporting the country’s compliance with UNCAC and the development of the new strategy.
Paal Aarsaether, Chief of Communications and External Relations, UNDP-Iraq
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