9 December 2021, Baghdad, Iraq –The fight against corruption requires collective action with the full participation of public authorities, the private sector, civil society, the media, and all citizens. It will be essential all actors coordinate and synergize their efforts to enhance effectiveness and achieve significant results for the country.

International Anti-Corruption Day is observed annually on 9 December since the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2003. Attitudes on corruption are changing, as people worldwide stand publicly against corruption as never before.

Corruption affects all segments of society. Combatting corruption underpins progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, helps protect the environment, creates jobs and inclusive growth, increases gender equality, and supports access to essential, basic services such as education and healthcare.

The 2021 International Anti-Corruption Day seeks to highlight the obligations and responsibilities of all stakeholders – including states, government officials, law enforcement officers, media representatives, the private sector, civil society, academia, citizens, and youth – in tackling corruption. The theme of the International Anti-Corruption Day 2021 is "Your right, your role: say no to corruption" to raise awareness about the effects of corruption in times of crisis and stress that recovery can only be obtained with integrity and accountability.

This year, the European Union Delegation to Iraq, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Iraqi federal and Kurdistan regional institutions united their efforts in the joint initiative entitled “Fostering justice to curb corruption and promote arbitration in Iraq” which was officially launched in May 2021. This project aims to bolster transparency and public accountability, supports Iraq to deliver on its national and international commitments concerning the fight against corruption, enhance the Iraqi legislative and strategic core for combatting corruption, support the justice sector to better process corruption offences, and foster and empower Iraqi civil society to take a more active role.

The Ambassador of the European Union to Iraq, H.E. Ville Varjola, affirms: “Accountable government lies at the heart of the European Union and our values. Today, on the International Anti-Corruption Day, we stand united with the Iraqi people in its demand for transparency and good governance. Through this EU-funded initiative, we are working closely with the Iraqi government to respond to this call for change. To ensure the success of this project, I count on the strong ownership and engagement of the Iraqi state institutions and civil society alike.”

“Anti-corruption efforts, alongside the promotion of more sustainable, inclusive forms of economic growth, are overwhelming public demands: by heeding these calls, Iraqi political leaders can help build lasting solutions for unrest and conflict,” said the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator, Irena Vojáčkova-Sollorano.

UNDP Resident Representative for Iraq, Ms Zena Ali Ahmed stressed: “We are encouraged that federal and KRI authorities have initiated measures to improve the public transparency of state institutions by opening discussion on federal and regional access to information legislations. The right to know is crucial in enabling citizens to actively take part in the fight against corruption.”

 

Media enquiries:

Maksym Kytsiuk, UNDP ACAI Public Information and Communications Specialist, maksym.kytsiuk@undp.org or +964 (0) 780 923 1467.

Al-Sadiq Al-Adilee, EU's Press and Communications Officer, alsadiq.al-adilee@eeas.europa.eu

 

Background:

International Anti-Corruption Day

The UN General Assembly designated 9 December as International Anti-Corruption Day to raise awareness of corruption and the Convention's role in combating and preventing it. The Convention entered into force in December 2005.

The Support to justice initiatives curbing corruption and promoting commercial dispute resolution Project (hereinafter, Anti-Corruption & Arbitration in Iraq, ACAI) is EU-funded and builds on Iraq's national efforts to improve transparency and accountability across state institutions and supports Iraq to deliver to its national and international commitments regarding the fight against corruption, to support the Iraqi institutions in the revision of national anti-corruption laws, promote their alignment with international standards, and provide specialised on-demand training and mentorship opportunities for corruption investigators and integrity judges.

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