Somalia signs UN-backed plan to tackle corruption

By Asad Cabdullahi Mataan

MOGADISHU, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) — Somalia joined the world on Sunday in marking the International Anti-Corruption Day with the signing of the United Nations-backed plan aimed at tackling the vice in the country.

Somalia’s Ministry of Justice and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) inked the Project Initiation Plan (PIP) which aims at strengthening government institutions to fight corruption and promote accountability.

“We are on our way to establish an Anti-Corruption Commission; they need a secretariat, they need training, they need help in all aspects,” said minister of justice Hassan Hussein Haji in a statement issued by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).

The minister who spoke at the United Nations-backed event in Mogadishu announced series of steps to strengthen government’s commitment to combat corruption and reinforce transparency in order to build more accountable institutions.

He said the project would particularly enhance accountability in some of the country’s key institutions, such as the Office of the Auditor General, among others, and that it would be followed by more at the end of the PIP.

“So, I think this Project Initiation Plan will lead us to develop this institution that will make it easier for us to sign and ratify the UN Convention against Corruption,” Haji said.

George Conway, UNDP Country Director for Somalia, said the newly-signed PIP allows the government to tackle corruption in a comprehensive way.

“The PIP builds on significant engagement we have had with the government at federal and state-level for many years, to address issues of good governance, accountability, transparency, support to public financial management and the broader application of the rule of law,” Conway said after the signing ceremony.

The PIP will be implemented over a six-month period, after which UNDP will roll out a full multi-year program to support the government of Somalia in its anti-corruption efforts.

Source: XinhuaNet