"Citizens can be soldiers in the fight against corruption", says UNODC Regional Representative at Anti-Corruption Opening

09th December 2013 - Egypt

The outcry of the youth that resounded in the skies of Egypt since the 25th of January 2011 Revolution to eliminate corruption has not ebbed yet. In fact, the need to prevent and fight corruption is now articulated more than ever at all levels of the Egyptian society, but mainly within the circles of youth.

Recognizing this spirit, and on the occasion of the International Anti-Corruption Day, UNODC Regional Office has joined hands with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Egyptian the Ministry of State for Administrative Development(MSAD), the National Coordinating Committee for Combating Corruption (NCCCC) and Transparency International to hold a series of anti-corruption activities. The objective of the activities, which took place over the period of three days (9 -11 December) under the overall theme "The Arab Republic of Egypt Commemorates the International Anti-Corruption Day - A new start and a different vision to combating corruption in Egypt", is to ensure that the International Anti-Corruption Day is a powerful day of action against corruption.

Among these activities, on 10 December, UNODC, UNDP and MSAD jointly organized an event under the theme "The role  of the Youth in Fighting Corruption". The event targeted several youth movements, anti-corruption youth activists, members of the NCCCC, and members of the media and the press with the objective of empowering the youth and securing the cooperation of all stakeholders in this fight.

In his opening speech, Mr. Masood Karimipour, Regional Representative for the Middle East and North Africa, recognized the youth as the key ingredient in the fight against corruption. He stressed the importance of the role they play in changing attitudes and instilling cultural accountability.  "In a society whose very values are against corruption, citizens can be soldiers in fighting corruption", he stated.   Mr. Masood reiterated the commitment of UNODC, UNDP and friends of Egypt such as the EU, to join forces and provide assistance to Egypt in its path towards a corruption free country.

H.E. Mr. Hani Mahmoud, State Minister for Administrative Development, highlighted that the youth is the segment most opposing to corruption in Egypt and applauded their extraordinary initiatives.  "They are taking an active role on the ground either within civil society organizations or using social media", he specified.  "Despite the very concrete steps taken by the Government of Egypt, such as the enactment of the "Conflict of Interest" law for public officials, a lot remains to be done, he added. The opening session was followed by questions and answers, then two workshops on "The experiences of the youth in fighting corruption" and "Operationalizing the reporting and complaints mechanisms".

On the first day of activities, 9 December, the five organizers held a joint event in Sofitel Gezira Hotel under the title of "No Impunity - Prevention of Money Smuggling". Around 125 attendees were present at the event, including NGOs, members of NCCCC, Judiciary, academia professors, members of the media and press, and representatives from regional and international organizations involved in combating corruption. The event sought to enhance the role of civil society organizations in detecting corruption cases, especially money smuggling, and their efforts to recover stolen assets. Furthermore, the event aimed at operationalizing the role of the media and press in shedding light on corrupt practices and to ensure the efficiency of judiciary and oversight efforts to prevent impunity from the corruption crime.

The last day of the activities, 11 December, witnessed a joint event between UNODC, UNDP, MSAD and NCCCC. During the event the NCCCC headquarters at the Ministry of justice was inaugurated followed by a discussion on NCCCC role in light of the constitutional amendment. The discussion was carried out by members of the NCCCC along with judges, law practitioners and members of the media, on the activities that have been accomplished 
by the committee, and the envisaged role of the committee in the future.

Ten years ago, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which is the paramount global framework for preventing and combating corruption. The General Assembly also designated 9 December as International Anti-Corruption Day, to raise awareness of corruption and of the role of the Convention in combating and preventing it.

For further information please contact MsMona Salem (mona.salem[AT]unodc.org).

Also you can read UNODC Executive Director's message on International Anti-Corruption Day, 9 December