Forum on fighting corruption [Archives:2005/879/Local News]

September 22 2005


SANA'A-. Sept. 18- A forum on fighting corruption was held in cooperation between the government of the Republic of Yemen, the Federal Republic of Germany and the presidency and Central Organization for Control and Audit (COCA). The forum's focus was on the vast scatter of corruption, which is seen spread throughout all governmental institutions. Solutions of these problems were given by guest speakers, in hope to end such a phenomena.

The Deputy Ambassador of Germany attended the forum and mentioned that it is an optimistic step in fighting corruption with collaboration between both the Yemeni and German governments. He also mentioned the important positive steps that Yemen has taken since the establishment of the 'Supreme Commission to Stop Corruption' in 2003.

“Yemen can benefit from experiences and expertise of other countries, but in the end, the solution and implementing measures has to be taken by the Yemeni society in general”.

A focal reason that leads to corruption is the weak infrastructure of governmental institutions and its monitoring system, while the correct method to fight corruption is not studied appropriately and is being practiced in an unorganized manner. In return, poor citizens will always be the victims in such a horrifying phenomena.

“Many of the advanced countries have been able to achieve tangible results in limiting the circle of corruption, and to limit its impact on society,” said chairman of the COCA, Dr. Abdullah Al-Sanafi, “No country is free of corruption though every country tries dearly to fight corruption from its roots”.

Program Chancellor for the Yemen-German cooperation to fight corruption, Mr. Klaus Henning Rosen, handed out during the workshop a list of one hundred forms of corruption that countries suffer from, while giving solutions on how to stop them.

Corruption cannot be fought if no political will is available from the government. This means the power, authority, and opposition parties as well. When citizens describe authorities as leaders of society, officials on the other hand must prove to the people that they really are leaders and are ready to change the future of the country to the better, furthermore stand up to the responsibilities people expect from them.

Qazi Hamid Al-Hitar stressed on the issue that corruption must be first fought from within the government and mentioned that Islam bans any aggression practiced against the people, and the unlawful misuse of public funds and properties.

In the closing comments, Mr. Klaus referred to the Transparency International Source to nine key solutions to help speed up reform efforts.

1. A clear commitment by political leaders to combat corruption wherever it occurs.

2. Primary emphasis on prevention of future corruption and on changing systems.

3. The adoption of comprehensive anti-corruption legislation implemented by agencies of manifest integrity.

4. The identification of those government activities most prone to corruption.

5. A program to insure that salaries of civil servants and political leaders adequately reflect the responsibilities of their posts and are as comparable with those in the private sector.

6. A study of legal and administrative remedies to be sure that they provide adequate deterrence.

7. The creation of a partnership between government and civil society including the private sector, professionals, and religious organizations.

8. Making corruption a high risk and low-profit undertaking.

9. Developing a change “management scenario” which minimizes the risk of those who have been involved in corruption and which wins the support of key political players.

Such forums are taken place to give hope for change in this poor Middle Eastern country, as reform plays a vital role for the development in the long run. But could these workshops stop corruption, which is spread through most governmental institution in the present day? Only time will tell if these efforts were taken seriously or passed unheard.