Qatar and UNDP finalize agreement to set up Arab region anti- corruption initiative in Doha

25 Apr 2012

New York - The UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States at UNDP, Ms. Amat Al Alim Alsoswa, visited His Excellency the Attorney General of the State of Qatar, Dr. Ali Ben Fetais Al Marri, in Doha this week to discuss ongoing efforts to promote transparent and accountable governance in the Arab region.

On Monday, April 23rd they signed an agreement specifying the financial contributions Qatar will make to UNDP’s "Anti-Corruption and Integrity in the Arab Countries" (ACIAC) project – an initiative that brings together multiple stakeholders in the region, including governments, civil society organizations, businesses and international development partners, to take collective action against corruption. Qatar will contribute four million U.S. dollars over a period of three years to the ACIAC initiative, whose total budget is estimated to be at ten million U.S. dollars.

"The peoples of the region can no longer tolerate injustice and corruption", said Dr. Al Marri, who signed the agreement on behalf of Qatar. "There is a paramount need to make rule of law and anti-corruption reforms a priority and to instill the values of integrity and justice in the daily practices of individuals and institutions."

The agreement builds on a Memorandum of Understanding that was signed between the two parties in September 2011 announcing their intention to cooperate on ACIAC implementation. The Memorandum made Qatar one of the main donors and partners of the initiative, as well as the first Arab country to fund a regional cooperation programme on anti-corruption.

Qatar has also established the International Centre for Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption under the patronage of His Highness the Heir Apparent of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Tameem Bin Hamad Al Thani. His Excellency the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon attended the Centre’s launch in December 2011.

"The Centre will focus on empowering Arab countries to prevent and combat corruption, but it is also open for cooperation with other countries in the world," explained Mr. Al Marri. "It will offer training courses and develop studies and recommendations to support reforms in requesting countries."

ACIAC will provide technical assistance and advice to the Centre. It will also support efforts to implement the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) - in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) - with the aim of reinforcing development efforts and accelerating the Millennium Development Goals.

"The ongoing transformations in the Arab region highlight the need for enhanced anti-corruption cooperation,” stated Ms. Alsoswa, who signed the agreement on behalf of UNDP. “Partnerships such as the current one between UNDP and Qatar set a good example in this regard."