UN envoy to government: Use political will to fight corruption

9 Dec 2009

UN envoy to government: Use political will to fight corruption

KABUL - Corruption is very high on the United Nations’ agenda for Afghanistan, according to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General Kai Eide.

Mr Eide was speaking at a news conference in Kabul organized on the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day that included key government officials involved in fighting corruption.

The top UN envoy also used this opportunity to press the new government of President Karzai to show greater political will in combating graft. President Karzai is expected to name his new cabinet by Saturday.

He also noted that fighting corruption will not necessarily succeed through new strategies, but through the implementation of existing laws.

"Structures do exist, a legal system does exist, that is able to a large extent to address corruption. So in my mind it's not the creation of a new structure that should be at the heart of our discussions but the political determination to make use of the structures in place, that is the important element," he added.

Also today, Jean-Luc Lemahieu, the head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Afghanistan said that “Afghanistan has taken a number of significant steps but an enormous amount of work remains to be done.”

President Karzai will convene a National Anti-Corruption conference from 15-17 December that will bring together Afghan civil society, the government, the judiciary and the international community.

By Aditya Mehta, UNAMA