Qatar backs anti-corruption project in Arab States

22 Sep 2011

Qatar partners with the United Nations Development Programme to implement a new Arab anti-corruption project, marking the first time that an Arab country will work with the organization on a regional democratic governance initiative.

The agreement is part of a new Anti-Corruption and Integrity in the Arab Countries project that aims to help policymakers and practitioners fight corruption. The project, based out of Doha, offers concrete assistance to all willing Arab countries, and will initially focus on Djibouti, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, the occupied Palestinian territory and Yemen.

UNDP will support stakeholders, including state institutions and civil society organizations, to deepen their knowledge on the scope and impact of corruption at the country level, as well as to implement key preventive and punitive measures under the United Nations Convention against Corruption in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

The agreement comes at a time when the fight against corruption is high on the policy agenda throughout the region.
 
“Our country is proud to be an active member of this community in the fight against one of the most serious challenges in today’s world,”  said H.E. Ali Al Marri, the Attorney General of Qatar, who signed the agreement on behalf of his country.

The project will also support countries to identify and address corruption risks in key sectors, such as health, water, and education. It will facilitate dialogue between stakeholders from the public and private sectors around various anti-corruption themes including how to promote clean business.
 
The project builds on UNDP’s extensive experience in promoting good governance and anti-corruption efforts, and its longstanding engagement in the Arab region. Since 2002 the organization has provided support in the fight against corruption to more than 20 Arab countries using an incremental approach focused on raising awareness and building networks of reformers across the region.
 
“The implementation of [the project] allows UNDP and its partners to leverage their extensive efforts over the years in the pursuit of an ambitious anti-corruption agenda,” said Adel Abdellatif, UNDP’s Chief of the Regional Programme Division in the Regional Bureau for Arab States. “Just 10 years ago this topic was treated as taboo – now the region has the will and is building the capacity to deal with it.”
 
For Qatar, the agreement comes as an example of its commitment not only to fight corruption, but also to ensure that development efforts are able to benefit from the perspectives and support of a wide range of partners.
 
“We are hopeful that this partnership is a success and that others may follow,” said Amat Al Alim Alsoswa, UNDP’s Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States. at the conclusion of the signing ceremony. “The region is changing quickly and we are committed to working with Arab countries in these very important issues at this critical moment.”