Fresh impetus essential for anti-corruption efforts in Afghanistan – UN official
KABUL - Afghanistan’s authorities must give fresh impetus to achieving progress in combatting corruption to bolster peace and development efforts, a UN official emphasized at an Afghan civil society roundtable convened to address anti-corruption efforts on Wednesday.
Speaking at the Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) event, UNAMA’s Rule of Law chief, Romana Schweiger, called for new resolve in anti-corruption efforts, highlighting the Mission’s latest annual anti-corruption report and stressing the UN’s full support to coherent government efforts.
“We advise the Afghan government to develop a new, realistic and long-term strategy against corruption, building on past achievements in a consultative process with all stakeholders, including civil society,” said Schweiger.
UNAMA’s new anti-corruption report, released last week, found that sustained and effective efforts in fighting corruption in Afghanistan remain critical for the country’s future, especially so given the country’s pressing challenges and opportunities around peace and development.
The report – ‘Afghanistan’s Fight against Corruption: Crucial for Peace and Prosperity’ – reviews the progress Afghanistan has made in anti-corruption reform and provides analysis and recommendations to support Afghanistan’s institutions in combatting corruption to improve the lives of all citizens who must grapple each day with the issue.
The report acknowledges notable areas of progress, such as the Anti-Corruption Justice Centre enhancing its ability to prosecute and adjudicate high-level corruption cases, and makes several recommendations, recognizing that Afghanistan’s previous anti-corruption efforts have yet to positively impact the lives of most Afghans.
In addition, the report calls for the establishment of an independent anti-corruption commission, along with clarification in the work of the country’s anti-corruption bodies, in accord with the United Nation’s Convention against Corruption. Afghanistan ratified the UN Convention against Corruption in 2008.
The new report concludes that, notwithstanding the many legal and policy reforms that have been undertaken, corruption remains one of the most significant obstacles to Afghanistan’s long-term peace and prosperity.
At the close of her remarks delivered at the IWA event, Schweiger highlighted the need to promote the active participation of individuals and groups outside the public sector, such as civil society, non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations, in Afghanistan’s anti-corruption reform efforts.
The new report, the fourth in a series, was launched on 18 June in Kabul. Along with UNAMA’s other anti-corruption reports, it is available for download here: https://unama.unmissions.org/corruption.