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Need for inclusive strategy to eradicate corruption underlined

Need for inclusive strategy to eradicate corruption underlined

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May 24, 2019 - 13:14

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Transparency Afghanistaninfo-icon (TA) and Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) , in a joint statement, called for establishment of an independent commission and a comprehensive and inclusive strategy to engage public in the fight against corruption.

The CSOs highlighted continued distrust of the public over government’s ability to tackle corruption undermining prospects of peace and stability as highlighted in the recently published UNAMA report.

The report considered corruption as a major obstacle that hinders the implementation of the law and creates an environmentinfo-icon for prevalence of crimes and impunity.
Joy Saunders, Chairperson of Transparency Afghanistan said, “Robust measures are needed to uproot corruption which has destabilized the state and threatens the future of the country. The continued distrust of the public over government’s ability to tackle corruption is evidence that the phenomena negatively affects people’s lives each day.” Institutionalized efforts to implement the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, which Afghanistan ratified in 2008, are needed to tackle corruption in a consistent and comprehensive manner, Ms Saunders added.
Sayed Ikram Afzali, Executive Director of Integrity Watch said, “Although there has been some progress in the fight against corruption, the government’s efforts have lacked an institutionalized approach.

President Ghani approved the anti-corruption law in 2019 but the law does not guarantee establishment of an independent anti-corruption agency based on international standards and commitments made by the government five years ago.” The government has not taken into account civil societyinfo-icon concerns to reconsider the selection process to ensure apolitical appointment of commissioners through transparency and meaningful participation of civil society, he added.
Nadia Bazidwal, a member of TA’s board, said that government’s lack of willingness to engage civil society in the anti-corruption efforts is questionable. She called on the government to enable the environment in which civil society can meaningfully engage with the stakeholders and contribute to the fight against corruption. “For the government to genuinely demonstrate its will in regards to combatting corruption, it should open up decision-making bodies at both national and subnational level to civil society engagement to restore trust.”, she added.
Ricardo Grassi, a member of Transparency Afghanistan’s board of directors, said that Afghanistan has some good laws but weak implementation has resulted in citizens loss of faith that corruption can be tackled. “Afghanistan has the best Access to Information Law, implementation of which can help citizens to be properly informed, creating an environment for public participation and accountability,” Mr Grassi said. He also added that a consistent public communication action is needed to constantly keep anti-corruption on the agenda and foster people’s participation.
 Transparency Afghanistan and Integrity Watch consider strengthening independent institutions, introducing open justice reforms, ensuring a constructive role by the newly elected parliament, and enhancing civil society engagement would ensure improved results in the fight against corruption. As fighting corruption requires a long-term and inclusive strategy, all relevant stakeholders need to work together to achieve desirable outcomes.

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