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United against corruption in Myanmar 2017

Nay Pyi Taw (Myanmar), 8 December 2017
- Today Myanmar celebrated International Anti-Corruption Day in Nay Pyi Taw. The Anti-Corruption Commission, UNODC and UNDP joined forces to mark the day and encourage the public to get involved in anti-corruption efforts. The central theme of the day's event was that, by working together across government, the private sector, and the community at large, we can make real progress in curbing corruption.

The event was opened with speeches by H.E. U Aung Kyi, Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Mr. Jeremy Douglas, UNODC Regional Representative of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, and Mr. Peter Bachelor, UNDP Country Director for Myanmar.

Mr. Douglas said: "Corruption anywhere is a pervasive and harmful force: it breaks the trust of the people in our public institutions, and makes any improvement in governance or the rule of law that much harder to achieve. It shrinks public revenue, and stifles efforts to improve public welfare - especially the welfare of the most vulnerable, who measure the costs of corruption in missing healthcare services, in missing educational services, in missing public officials whom they can trust. Ultimately, corruption lines the pockets of those who abuse the trust of the public they serve, and takes food off the table of those who will miss it most."

Mr. Douglas went on to note the efforts made in Myanmar to curb corruption, saying "UNODC supports the government in enhancing the institutional capacity to prevent, raise awareness of, detect, investigate, prosecute, and convict cases of corruption. This includes extensive capacity development activities for anti-corruption institutions, including the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Anti-Financial Crime Division of the Myanmar Police Force, the Union Attorney General's Office, and the Supreme Court."

H.E. Mr. Kyi noted the progress that has been made through Myanmar's adoption of the UN Convention Against Corruption, and the enactment of multiple laws and policies aimed at reducing corruption within the country. He went on to point out the ongoing work to address corruption, noting that "a whole-of-government response and a cohesive national anti-corruption strategy are essential. Our continued development and implementation of major programmes that we have initiated with the support of our international partners are key to that effort."

A highlight of the day was the awarding of prizes to the winners of article and essay competitions conducted by the Anti-Corruption Commission in cooperation with the Ministry of Education at a high school in Nay Pyi Taw on 20 November for a total of 40 students. Half of the students wrote articles titled "No Corruption for a Prosperous Nation" while the other half wrote essays titled "United Against Corruption". For each competition, a first prize, second prize, third prize and three honorable mentions were awarded by the Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Further, anti-corruption cartoons and pictures in video clips were presented to raise awareness of the detrimental impact of corruption on development and provide suggestions and ideas on different ways to say "NO" to corruption - all a part of the whole-of-government approach to empowering Myanmar citizens to help in reducing corruption. Following the presentation, participants had an opportunity to study the cartoons and related articles displayed on notice boards.

After the speeches and presentations, the participants had the opportunity to acquire further knowledge on anti-corruption in an anti-corruption information booth set up for the event with various materials, including hard copies of the Myanmar Anti-Corruption Law and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in English and Myanmar versions.

Click here to learn more about UNODC's work on Anti-Corruption.