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UNCAC and Corruption in the Arab World


By: Ahmad Rwaidy

The Arab world has suffered greatly from corruption. It is now time for anti corruption bodies to work against corruption. A number of actions to be taken, these can be summarized in three points:
1. Strong willingness and commitment from the Arab leadership to fight against corruption in its different forms. Joining and ratification of the UNCAC is one step. Arab states should seek this opportunity of CoSP to the UNCAC to sign the agreement and benefit from its scope and methods.
2. Adopting massive amendments in the legislation of Arab states to ensure the existence of operational mechanisms to fight corruption. The judicial system has to play an influential role in the implementation of these legislations. The UNCAC would function as a framework in this context, whereby the legislation would convict transgressors, protect public resources, repatriate stolen assets and protect whistleblowers.
3. Creation of meaningful partnerships between the governments in the Arab states and CSOs whereby reports submitted by CSOs on corruption and their recommendations should be taken seriously by all state bodies including the legislature, the executive and the judiciary.
However, in the absence of an anti-corruption culture in the Arab world, even among the intellectuals and many CSOs, as well as the absence of authentic studies, techniques and expertise to fight corruption, we as CSOs emphasize the importance of technical assistance to enhance an anti- corruption culture. TA should be provided by all active stakeholders from among the CS community.
This will enhance the methods and techniques of fighting corruption and formulate studies and recommendations that could make a real difference.
The Arab world has a golden opportunity to benefit from UNCAC, especially with Jordan as the President of the CoSP to the UNCAC. Joining the UNCAC would enable those Arab states that have not signed or ratified the Convention to find methods and techniques of monitoring, asset recovery and working with the CSOs to find ways to put the UNCAC into action.

An Article Published by the Coalition of NGOs supporting the UN Anti-Corruption Convention

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