At a Government-led International Day Against Corruption event in Mogadishu, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Somali Federal Ministry of Justice and Judiciary Affairs have signed the first part of an agreement to develop a comprehensive approach to tackle corruption and increase public and private sector transparency in Somalia.
The International Day Against Corruption is marked each year on the anniversary of the ratification of United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), with 2018 marking the 15th anniversary of the Convention. The signing of the UN-supported plan at the Mogadishu event coincided with the announcement, by the Minister of Justice, Hassan Hussein Hajji, that the Federal Government would ratify the UN Convention against Corruption in the near future.
“Acceding to the UNCAC is part of our commitment towards a corruption free Somalia,” Minister Hajji said. “International Day Against Corruption provides an opportunity for Somalia and its international partners, to stand united against corruption. We affirm our mutual determination to strengthen transparency and accountability through the public and private sectors in Somalia,” he added.
During the event Peter de Clercq, the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in Somalia, said corruption undermines public trust and weakens state institutions. “The United Nations supports Somalia in its efforts to eradicate corruption, and in building an enabling environment for accountable and effective institutions and processes at all levels.” Mr. de Clercq concluded.
The agreement between the Ministry and UNDP will see the UN development agency and other UN partners work together with the Government, to assess challenges and next steps in building more transparent systems and setting up required legal frameworks to address corruption.
Signing the document together with the Minister of Justice, UNDP Somalia acting Resident Representative, George Conway, congratulated the government on the progress it has made in increasing transparency, accountability and the rule of law in Somalia.
“What we are signing today is an agreement to provide technical and capacity development support to the Government, so that it can take a comprehensive approach to addressing corruption in the country and towards ratifying the UN Convention Against Corruption. It is my pleasure from the United Nations side to be able to support these initiatives to progress them forward,” Mr. Conway said.
It is expected that the initial assessment part of the plan will then lay the groundwork for a longer-term project to develop a crosscutting National Integrity System for Somalia, led by the Government with the support of the UN.