Transparency Forum on Afghanistan’s Progress in Fighting Corruption

Yesterday, a transparency forum on anti-corruption measures related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) took place in Kabul’s Government and Media Information Centre. The non-governmental organisations (NGOs) Transparency International and Integrity Watch Afghanistan arranged the event. High-level representatives of the Afghan government, civil society and international donors participated – more than 60 people in total. The Afghan-German Cooperation’s Open Policy Advisory Fund (OPAF) funded the event and supported its implementation.

The Afghan Minister of Economy, Dr Mustafa Mastoor, commented: “Corruption’s eradication is one of the Afghan government’s objectives to achieve by 2030. We work hard for realising SDGs targeting corruption. We are all responsible to fight corruption, those who have been working in the government, media, civil society as well as all citizens. ”

SDGs, are a universal call to action by the United Nations Development Programme to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. SDGs focus on key areas including poverty alleviation, economic inequality, democratic governance and peacebuilding as well as climate change and disaster risk. Afghanistan is committed to attaining these SDGs. Yesterday’s event focused on the country’s progress in line with SDG 16 that promotes peace, justice, strong institutions and includes fighting corruption.

Keynote speeches, in-depth presentations and panel discussions focused on anti-corruption measures related to SDG16. These include reducing bribery and illicit financial flows, recovering stolen assets, developing effective and transparent institutions as well as ensuring public access to information. Participants discussed these measures and exchanged ideas on their implementation.

The Country Director for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in Afghanistan, Mr Carsten Schmitz-Hoffmann, emphasised: „Corruption is one of the major obstacles for stability and development in Afghanistan. GIZ aims to support our partner countries to achieve the SDGs. We strongly believe in a systematic approach to fight corruption, embedded in national reform processes to implement good government structures.”

Transparency International publishes so-called SDG Shadow Reports that shall provide a detailed and independent overview of a country’s anti-corruption progress in line with SDG 16. In March 2018, the NGO published such a report on Afghanistan and translated it into Dari and Pashto. Transparency International also raised awareness about civil society’s concern that the fight against corruption did not receive the attention it deserves in Afghanistan’s SDG implementation plan. To strengthen public awareness, the NGO introduced core results to a public audience at yesterday’s event.

The Open Policy Advisory Fund (OPAF) is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). OPAF provides financing for the flexible deployment of expertise that will enable Afghan institutions to carry out important reforms. In order to promote more efficient, effective and transparent governance, national and international experts support the staff of institutions and at government level in designing and improving processes, strategies and regulations, and in the provision of training. Among other activities, the project has been organising professional or job-specific trainings for 140 employees working at state institutions so far, including courses on finance, data analysis and corruption assessment.

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