Bahrain joins UN corruption fight


Currently, 140 nations have joined the convention, with Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE being the only GCC countries to do so.

Bahrain is one of 45 nations that have made a political commitment to join the convention, but has yet to ratify the treaty.

Parliament is keen to ratify it, Arab Region Parliamentarians Against Corruption Organisation (Bahrain branch) general co-ordinator and parliament services committee chairman Dr Ali Ahmed, said yesterday.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the Third Anti-Corruption Arab Parliamentary Conference on the convention, which opened at the Golden Tulip.

It is being held under the patronage of Shura Council chairman Ali Saleh Al Saleh and Parliament chairman Khalifa Al Dhahrani.

"Corruption is not only found in Bahrain but all over the world and it can come in many forms, in particular, organised crime and economic crime which includes money laundering," said Dr Ahmed.

The two-day conference, organised by the Arab Region Parliamentarians Against Corruption Organisation (Bahrain branch), involves parliament members from all around the Arab region.

It features papers highlighting corruption in the Arab world and ways to encourage transparency. Corruption is a "monster" that plagues all nations, said Dr Ahmed.

"The convention has a lot of useful tools that will help in limiting corruption and create awareness about its impact among people," he said.

"Nations should understand the importance of freedom, rights and democracy and the ill effects of corruption and poverty. Dr Ahmed said that parliaments should help achieve national esteem, social justice, proper resources distribution, and limit political corruption.

"We have so many corruption cases that are currently being dealt with in the courts," he said. Once the convention is signed a number of surveillance tools will be used to monitor various ministries and governmental organisations, said Dr Ahmed.

"Ratifying the convention will help track down the corrupt," he said.

The conference was chaired by the organisation’s vice-chairman, Fatima Blumodon. Cairo University lecturer Dr Ali Al Sawee, organisation member Dr Azmi Al Shoaibi and Dr Amer Khayat from the Arab Organisation to Combat Corruption spoke at the event.

It was followed by presentation of papers by Bahrain MPs, who spoke on the country’s democratic experience.

Today’s conference will discuss UN mechanisms to tackle corruption and how they can be implemented in each country.

The first part of the day will be chaired by organisation chairman and Kuwaiti parliament chairman Dr Nasser Al Sena’a with speeches by Kuwait University lecturer Dr Mohammed Al Makatea’a, organisation member Dani Haddad, United Nations Development Programme representative Arkan Al Sableeni and Arwa Hassan from the International Transparency Organisation on ways to enhance transparency.

The second part of the day will be on revenue transparency which will be chaired by member Abdulla Al Nebari and include speeches by Open Community Institute representative Gregory Mayreng and member Dr Khalil Jabbara.

Former Lebanese Prime Minister and Anti-Corruption Arab Organisation president Dr Salim Al Hoss and Kuwait’s National assembly member and Arab Parliamentarians Against Corruption Organisation president Dr Nasser Al Sa’ana are taking part in the two-day event.


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