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H.H. the Amir attends, patronizes international anti-corruption conference
January 15, 2019, 3:25 pm

H.H. the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah attended and patronized at Bayan Palace's theater on Tuesday, Kuwait international anti-corruption conference (Integrity for Development). His Highness the Amir was received at the venue by Minister of Justice and Minister of State For National Assembly Affairs Fahad Al-Afasi and head of Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) Abdurrahman Al-Nemash.

The conference was attended by His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Speaker of the National Assembly Marzouq Al-Ghanim, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, President of the Supreme Judicial Council, President of the Constitutional Court and Head of the Cassation Court Justice Youssef Al-Mutawa'a, GCC Secretary General Abdullatif AlZayani and other state officials and dignitaries. Delivering his speech, Minister Al-Afasi lauded His Highness the Amir's keenness on attending the conference and supporting the cause of anti-corruption, an integral part of seeking a better future for Kuwait.

The minister commended His Highness the Amir's involvement in the establishment of Nazaha, saying that the entity was working vigilantly in bolstering transparency and fairness in Kuwait. A corruption-free society will focus its compass on attaining developmentÍž therefore, it should be the goal for all sectors of society, said Al-Afasi. Corruption is one of the main reasons that plans for development worldwide face numerous challenges, stated Al-Afasi who called for more efforts to eradicate such social ailment.

Through the backing of His Highness the Amir and his clear vision for development, Kuwait will reach its goals of welfare, security, and justice for all, affirmed Al-Afasi who commended the organizing of such important event in Kuwait, which will contribute to the state's Vision 2035.

Similarly, in his speech, Nazaha's head Abdurrahman Al-Nemash lauded His Highness the Amir for hosting the international conference at Bayan Palace, saying that it reflected the leadership's keenness on supporting local and international efforts against corruption. Al-Nemash argued that if left unnoticed, corruption would bring down any state or organization no matter how highly developed such entity is. Whether it was on an individual or state levels, all resources must be utilized to combat corruption in all of its forms, said Al-Nemash who affirmed that through cooperation and coordination everything would be possible.

In regards to Nazaha's efforts, the official said that the authority's main objective was to protect public wealth from exploiters and wrongdoers. He attributed the success of Nazaha's cause to the efforts of the government, which should always focus on protecting society from corruption.

The official commended His Highness the Amir's national campaign and strategy to combat corruption to prevent it from spreading its negative effects socially, political and economically. The strategy focuses on the boosting rule of law, bolstering transparency, questioning violators and spreading citizens' trust in the government, said Al-Nemash, affirming that Nazaha would contribute to the cause to help the state both locally and internationally. Director of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Regional Hub for the Arab States Khaled Abdelshafi, on his part, commended the State of Kuwait for its initiative to host the international conference.

He stressed anti-corruption policies were very important and sought by various governments around the world. Corruption comes at a cost, said Abdelshafi, revealing that the annual cost for corruption worldwide reached USD 2.6 trillion, around five percent of the world's national income. The cost in the Arab region, in particular, is about US$ 90 billion annually, he indicated. The UNDP regional official said that corruption also took its toll on other sectors, saying that economy was not the only victim.

He added that to combat corruption the rule of law on all must be established no matter what the cost. The official shared with the conferees his belief that technology must be used to combat corruption, saying that new tools must be operated in corruption risk management at government entities to encourage behavioral economics, which would lead to the promotion of transparency.

Developing human resources and boosting finances to combat corruption are other methods to rid the world from this ailment, said Abdelshafi who affirmed that the UN maintained its stance on encouraging the world to fight corruption in all of its forums. While there are 186 countries who are members in the United Nations Convention against Corruption, it is very important to know that efforts against corruption was within the 17-point Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. Goal 16 calls for peace, justice and strong institutions around the world. The UNDP official took the chance to congratulate Kuwait on setting a national strategy to combat corruption and also establishing Nazaha. He affirmed that Kuwait through its efforts to combat corruption will surely reach it goals for development exemplified by Vision 2035. 

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