#UnitedAgainstCorruption in Uzbekistan: Media, Civil Society, International Community and the Government Participated in a Week-Long Information Marathon

The Republican Interagency Commission on Anti-Corruption of Uzbekistan jointly with UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia, UNDP Country Office and OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Uzbekistan organized a One Week Media Marathon (10-14 December 2018) dedicated to the International Day against Corruption. For five days the Government of Uzbekistan, civil society, mass media and international community have conducted discussions and meetings on the measures and ways to combat and prevent corruption.

The week started off with the opening of an exhibition of drawings, posters and essays received from young girls and boys - students of the lyceums, colleges and universities from all corners of Uzbekistan. The exhibition of works of young talents who participated in the "Youth against Corruption 2018" competition took place from December 10 to December 14 at the Palace of Youth Creativity in Tashkent. More than 300 works of art demonstrating the threat and consequences of corruption for society were presented at the exhibition. The works showed how young people perceive the problem of corruption. Zero tolerance to corruption was a key feature present in every of the approximately 8,000 submissions made for the competition, which has been held annually by the Republican Interagency Commission on Anti-Corruption jointly with national and international partners since 2016.

"In his recent address, H.E. Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the President of Uzbekistan, highlighted that eradication of corruption is one of the main priorities of state policy for the following years. The President expressed his firm belief that corruption is a significant obstacle to the implementation of reforms and we will not tolerate its manifestation in any form." - noted Mr. Yevgeny Kolenko, Head of the Academy of the Prosecutor General's Office of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

 "Corruption directly impacts the health of the nation and the world because it deprives people from equal access to services in healthcare, education and other areas of government system. It requires the whole of society approach and a cure that is called transparency." - highlighted Ms. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia.

"According to the World Bank, businesses and individuals pay more than $1 trillion in bribes each year. An estimated $2.6 trillion are stolen annually through corruption - a sum equivalent to more than 5% of the global GDP. In developing countries funds lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times the amount of official development assistance." - she added.

Participants of the seminar entitled "The Role of the Media in Promoting Zero Tolerance to Corruption among People" studied the society through the lenses of anti-corruption on the second day of the One Week Media Marathon.

Mr. Sherzod Kudratkhodzhayev, Rector of the University of Journalism and Mass Communications of the Republic of Uzbekistan, opened the seminar and noted that "corruption is a phenomenon that is difficult to eradicate. Eradication is possible only through prevention and outreach strategy."

More than 60 journalists from various information agencies of Uzbekistan and students of the University of Journalism and Mass Communications participated in the seminar and met with experts from the UNODC and the auditing company KPMG to discuss freedom to search for information and the right to report on corruption cases, as well as the value of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in defining the role of the media in combatting corruption.

"Prevention of corruption is about risk assessment, asset declaration, business integrity, youth integrity and much more, even the openness of data." - said Mr. Anga Timilsina, Global Programme Advisor on Anti-Corruption, UNDP at the seminar on the preventive measures of corruption for the government officials, during the third day of the Media Marathon. The seminar brought together over 100 representative of the law enforcement agencies and the members of the Republican Commission on Anti-Corruption from around the country via video-conference.

The fourth day of the One Week Media Marathon dedicated to the International Day against Corruption got together over 150 representatives from the key government agencies of Uzbekistan, the mass media, international organizations and embassies operating in the country to discuss achievements of the anticorruption reforms in the Republic of Uzbekistan and priorities for 2019. The participants had a chance to discuss the global standards on anti-corruption and its application to the national anti-corruption strategies with the experts from UNODC, UNDP and OSCE.

"The problem of corruption is not a new problem. It has existed for centuries. And there was always the question of how to make the state work for the benefit of the people, and not for the benefit of individuals. Globalization without anti-corruption measures is almost impossible. Today, you can create a business in one country and conduct activities - in another. It has become impossible to resist corruption on its own for any country. Therefore, in 2003, the global community joined forces and developed the UN Convention against Corruption, through which countries agreed to cooperate in the fight against this evil." - noted Mr.Constantine Palicarsy, UNODC International expert in the field of combating corruption and economic crimes, in his address.

The culmination of the week was the Media Forum entitled "Anticorruption reforms in the Republic of Uzbekistan - 2018: achievements and priorities" that hosted the journalists from the national television, radio, press and Internet-based information agencies, including the channels of the National Association of Electronic Mass Media of Uzbekistan.

Taking place at the Youth Press Club of the Youth Union of Uzbekistan, the Forum was followed by the Award Ceremony for the winner and laureates of the Republican competition "Youth against Corruption"

"Youthshould better inform themselves about the rule of law and what their Government has pledged to do to fight corruption. Youth should be part of an informed citizenry, as it is vital to a healthy democracy, and it holds elected officials responsible for their action." - noted Ms. Ashita Mittal, during the awarding ceremony.

High-level representative of UNODC, UNDP, OSCE and the General Prosecutor's Office of Uzbekistan were pleased to award nine participants of the "Youth against Corruption 2018" competition with valuable and memorable prizes for their outstanding works and contribution to raising awareness about the threats of corruption to society.

All the events were organized by the Republican Interagency Commission on Anti-Corruption of Uzbekistan jointly with UNODC, UNDP, OSCE as a part of the State Anti-Corruption Program for 2017-2018. The information support to the Media Marathon was provided by the Information and Analytical Multimedia Center under the Prosecutor General's Office of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the "UZREPORT" private TV channel of Uzbekistan and the National Association of Electronic Mass Media of Uzbekistan.

For more information:

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For more information, please contact

Ms. Dariya Kudabaeva,

Communication and External Relations Officer, UNODC ROCA,

E-mail: dariya.kudabaeva[at]un.org. Tel.: (78)-120-80-50