Fighting corruption takes community cooperation, panellists stress in UN-backed televised debates

11 Apr 2017

Fighting corruption takes community cooperation, panellists stress in UN-backed televised debates

KABUL - To eliminate corruption from Afghanistan, every individual in every community across the country must play an active role, said panellists in televised UN-backed debates held in Kandahar and Jalalabad during the past week.

The Kandahar debate, which brought together panellists from local universities and civil society organizations, focused on the concept of communities holding government representatives and other leaders accountable.

In the Jalalabad debate, ant-corruption officials, provincial council members, civil society representatives and community leaders discussed the impact of corruption on peace and development.

In Kandahar, the head of the Anti-Corruption Department for the southern region, Sayed Javed Hashimi, outlined how his department is investigating cases of corruption and stressed that it is the responsibility of every individual to report incidents when they happen.

And in the Jalalabad debate, Habiba Kaker, a member of Nangarhar’s provincial council, said corruption has long and deep roots in Afghanistan. To tackle corruption, she stressed, every citizen must take action in supporting the rule of law in daily life.

“If we stand up against nepotism and relation-based recruitment, for example, we will be able to combat corruption in governmental entities,” she said.

According to independent research reports, Afghanistan is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, affecting every segment of Afghan society, including business practices, government services, rule of law and justice.

The two debates, which were broadcast to an estimated audience of 900,000 on local TV and radio in Jalalabad and Kandahar, were organized by the Kandahar and Jalalabad regional offices of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

UNAMA is mandated to support the Afghan Government and the people of Afghanistan as a political mission that provides 'good offices' among other key services. 'Good offices' are diplomatic steps UN takes publicly and in private, drawing on its independence, impartiality and integrity, to prevent international disputes from arising, escalating or spreading.

UNAMA also promotes coherent development support by the international community; assists the process of peace and reconciliation; monitors and promotes human rights and the protection of civilians in armed conflict; promotes good governance; and encourages regional cooperation.