EU holds anti-corruption conference in Afghanistan

KABUL (TCA) — On July 10, the European Union Delegation to Afghanistan held its Fifth Annual Anti-Corruption Conference in Kabul, which brought together around 250 participants from official institutions, international community, civil society, private sector, students and media.

Afghan President Muhammad Ashraf Ghani and EU Ambassador Pierre Mayaudon opened the conference. The panel discussion addressed anti-corruption narratives and realities; the importance of integrity for the peace negotiations; and zero tolerance against corruption as a condition for sustainable peace in Afghanistan.

All speakers emphasised that Afghanistan is now at a pivotal moment in the ongoing peace efforts and addressing issues such as anti-corruption must be made part of the engagement. Corruption prevention and enforcement of good governance are additional elements leading to better transparency and longevity of peace.

The participants reminded that introducing integrity provisions in legislation will not be enough to promote lasting peace and stability unless these provisions are put in practice and well implemented. Working to develop professional civil service, transparent decision making process and high public administration standards were among some of the elements that were mentioned as necessary tools for increasing accountability to the general public and leading towards the end of conflict in Afghanistan.

Speaking at the conference, EU Ambassador to Afghanistan Pierre Mayaudon said that corruption is a prime war enabler. “This reality is acknowledged worldwide but it takes an all too familiar shape in Afghanistan, starting with the illegal economy, mainly incarnated by illegal mining and drug production and trafficking, which provides massive financial resources to the insurgents. Illegal economy would never reach such heights without networks of corrupt officials being involved,” he said.

There is no sustainable peace without trust, and combating corruption is definitely a way to build trust and confidence not just among the elite but throughout the Afghan society and beyond, including with the international community by strengthening the mutual accountability regime, the EU Ambassador said.

Sergey Kwan

TCA

Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
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Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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