Latest Activities
    • More than 80 government, business and civil society representatives from 17 Arab countries convened in Kuwait

      •  DEC 18 -19

      •  DEC 9

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  • Lebanon - Fourth Conference of the Arab Anti-Corruption and Integrity Network “Reconciling Hopes with Realities in the Fight against Corruption: Paving the Way for Innovation”
  • International - Jakarta Statement on Principles for Anti-Corruption Agencies
  • ... more anti corruption news

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Transparency and Accountability: Anti-Corruption


Corruption is a result of malfunctioning governance institutions in the public and the private domains. It undermines efforts to reduce poverty, realize the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and promote human development and human security. In the early 1990s, UNDP became one of the pioneering organizations to develop and implement programmes that address and curb elements of corruption; and today, it continues to be a leading provider of anti-corruption technical cooperation within its democratic governance portfolio, and in the framework of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).

In the Arab states region, corruption is perceived to be a major governance challenge that seriously impedes reform and development. Related data and information continue to be scarce; and the public’s confidence in the State to act against corruption remains fragile. Nevertheless, recent developments are creating opportunities for change and progress especially in light of the massive popular protests that swept across the region citing rampant corruption as one of the major grievances. Over the past few years, the space for public debate on corruption has grown significantly, and governments have become more engaged in related reform initiatives. So far, 16 Arab countries have committed themselves to implement the UNCAC. Some of them have already promulgated a series of legal reforms to prevent and punish corrupt practices, established specialized anti-corruption bodies, and developed and started implementing national anti-corruption strategies.

Conversely, major regulatory and capacity gaps continue to undermine the stakeholders’ ability to act effectively against corruption. Transparency levels are constantly improving, but are still relatively low, and various key oversight mechanisms remain in need of further development. The actual implementation of the existing legal frameworks is, by and large, also below expectations, while the prosecution of major corruption cases remains rare. International cooperation is considered to be slow and challenging, and the effective participation of non-governmental actors in anti-corruption efforts continues to be undermined by a number of political and structural challenges.

UNDP’s Programme on Governance in the Arab Region (POGAR) has been working with Arab governments, parliaments, judiciaries and non-governmental actors to support governance reforms for more than a decade. The focus on anti-corruption emerged in 2003-2004 in the framework of the joint UNDP/OECD Initiative on Good Governance for Development (GfD) in the Arab Countries. Since then, POGAR has supported the achievement of a number of key results, which have helped increase the volume of anti-corruption cooperation in the region, and created fresh opportunities for new steps forward on the anti-corruption agenda. POGAR is building on these achievements, in the context of its new regional anti-corruption project, to contribute to the Arab countries’ efforts in the area of transparency, integrity and the implementation of the UNCAC, with a view to reinforcing good governance practices and promoting human development and human security in the region.

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