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Step up efforts against graft, UN urges Kabul

4 Aug 2021 - 11:50
4 Aug 2021 - 11:50

KABUL (Pajhwok): Bolstering ongoing efforts to address corruption in Afghanistan remains critical, the United Nations said on Wednesday.

UNAMA underlined the need for more efforts to fight administrative graft in its fifth annual anti-corruption report, titled Afghanistan’s Fight against Corruption: Stepping up integrity, transparency and accountability.

The report acknowledged that Afghanistan had taken positive steps towards establishing solid anti-corruption legal and institutional frameworks.

However, the report added numerous shortcomings remained, including the need to further increase transparency, integrity and accountability.

From January 2020 to May 2021, the UN mission said, the government continued supporting anti-corruption reforms.

The report noted the worsening impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing peace talks and increased violence after the announcement of foreign troop’ pullout slowed down the pace of reforms.

It acknowledged positive developments such as the establishment in November 2020 of the Anti-Corruption Commission in line with the UN Convention Against Corruption.

“Such an entity has the potential to advance anti-corruption reforms, provided its independence is ensured and it is enabled to fully perform its functions.”

It also referred to the adoption of new legislation on whistle-blowers’ protection during the reporting period, which should also strengthened, if effectively enforced, the fight against corruption.

The report also confirmed a spike in the number of cases processed by the specialised anti-corruption tribunal and the important role of the Supreme Court in increasing accountability.

It recommends enhancing the capacity of law enforcement to detect corruption crimes and arrest alleged perpetrators regardless of their status.

UNAMA chief Deborah Lyons said: “Effectively fighting corruption goes hand in hand with increasing State legitimacy, prosperity and stability.”

Ongoing efforts to enhance monitoring and oversight mechanisms; streamline public funding and revenue management; and increasing transparency should be stepped up, the report said.

UNAMA said it remained ready to continue supporting Afghanistan to advance anti-corruption reforms to address remaining challenges.

It went on to stress sustained efforts to effectively address remaining gaps, including by reinforcing the effectiveness of monitoring and oversight mechanisms.

The report recommended that anti-corruption stakeholders continue engaging and supporting civil society and media for fostering transparency and exposing corruption.

It encouraged the government to protect media, given the alarming increase in attacks targeting journalists.

All Afghans were urged to commit to tackling corruption through an inclusive effort that must also aim at addressing root causes of corruption.

The UN said it remained committed to supporting Afghanistan in further implementing its obligations under the UN Convention against Corruption, which Afghanistan ratified in 2008.

pr/mud

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