The EU Delegation to Afghanistan today held its sixth annual Anti-Corruption Conference at the Presidential Palace. The conference gathered around 150 participants from civil society, private sector, official institutions, media and the international community. EU Ambassador Andreas Von Brandt introduced the event, followed by remarks from UN Special Representative Deborah Lyons and a keynote speech by H.E President Ashraf Ghani.
Taking place two weeks prior to the Afghanistan 2020 Geneva Conference, Ambassador Von Brandt emphasized the importance of strengthening anti-corruption efforts as a measure to build trust between the Afghan people and their Government as well as with the international donor community. Trust is an equally crucial component to achieve sustainable peace.
“In the ongoing Afghan Peace Negotiations it is all about trust. A minimum of trust between the sides. But also trust in the superiority of a pluralistic, democratic Afghanistan. About trust in the Republic.”
- EU Ambassador Andreas Von Brandt
Ambassador von Brandt highlighted the need for a strong regulatory framework, including by developing a robust new Anti-Corruption Strategy, which President Ghani confirmed will be done, through an inclusive process based on lessons learned from the past. He also emphasised the need for strong independent institutions and in this context welcomed the announcement by the President on the formation of the Anti-Corruption Commission. To build national consensus on fighting corruption the President also announced the Government’s consideration to call for a Loya Jirga.
While progress has been made, Ambassador Von Brandt stressed that further efforts are still needed to implement anti-corruption rules and policies. He emphasised the need to deliver effective investigations and prosecutions, in particular of high-level suspects, to demonstrate that corrupt actions have consequences. Everyone must be equal before the law if Afghanistan wants to build a strong culture of accountability and integrity, he stressed.
Anti-corruption is a key element of the EU’s cooperation with Afghanistan. This has for instance resulted in reforms in public finance management, aimed at increased budget transparency and targeting misappropriation of funds and the strengthening of the capacity for investigations and prosecutions through support for the professionalization of the Attorney General’s Office and the ACJC.
Ambassador von Brandt concluded by assuring that the EU will continue to stand by all Afghans making courageous efforts to prevent and combat corruption. Effectively countering corruption requires a whole-of-society approach with broad political unity and efforts, not only by the public sector but by all who want to see change.
For further information please contact:
Press and Information Officer
EU Delegation to Afghanistan
0795 935 192