Baghdad, 21.01.2023 - UNDP's Anti-Corruption and Arbitration initiatives (ACAI) is achieving significant milestones midway through its five-year implementation. Funded by the European Union, the project recently conducted its second steering committee on Sunday, January 21, at the State Council, with the participation of representatives from the Government of Iraq, the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq, and the European Union.
Directly aligning with the agenda of the H.E. Prime Minister and his government to combat corruption, diversify the economy, advance e-governance, and attract foreign investment, ACAI has been acting as a catalyst for improved capacity, legislation, and a strategic framework for anti-corruption and commercial dispute resolution.
In 2023, over 1,300 participants, including public officials, judges, prosecutors, students, media, and civil society, joined workshops supporting the mainstreaming of anti-corruption efforts at policy, legislative, and advocacy levels.
ACAI has been instrumental in supporting the Government of Iraq in creating a legislative framework that fosters anti-corruption. Three legislations have been reviewed, and a draft Access to Information law is referred to the Council of Representatives. When enacted, this law will promote transparent governance and empower citizens with information about public spending.
Through close cooperation with the Supreme Judicial Council, UNDP has monitored trials and investigative hearings related to over 300 major corruption cases. This has enabled the development of training programs tailored based on court practices and judicial proceedings related to corruption.
UNDP continues to support the Government in making Iraq an investment-friendly market by strengthening commercial dispute resolution legislation and practices. The ratification of the New York Convention in 2021 was a significant step, and in 2023, a new Arbitration law has been drafted with UNDP's technical support.
As part of the initiative's holistic approach, UNDP has empowered media and civil society with workshops on investigative journalism and reporting. In addition, the project has galvanized action among public through the #PasstheBaton Campaign against corruption. The campaign, reaching 50 million views, received strong support from public institutions, influencers, journalists, youth, and women's organizations.
UNDP Iraq's Representative Auke Lootsma, speaking at the meeting, emphasized the importance of ending corruption for a prosperous Iraq. “We remain committed to providing essential support to the Government of Iraq in anti-corruption and commercial dispute resolution, striving to establish a secure environment conducive to development, poverty reduction, good governance, and a thriving business environment. Our commitment extends to sustaining progress in legislative and strategic reform, e-governance, judicial integrity, commercial justice, as well as building capacity for investigation and public outreach. We are thankful for the continuous and strong collaboration with the Government and the European Union, which opened doors for the success of this project.”
For more information:
Tayfun Yilmaz, Tayfun.email@example.com