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Administrative development ministry launches project to combat corruption
Published in Daily News Egypt on 28 - 09 - 2011

CAIRO: The Ministry of State for Administrative Development launched a joint technical assistance project aimed at establishing an effective mechanism to combat corruption and money laundering in Egypt, with the European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The project, titled "Supporting Measures to Combat Corruption and Money Laundering and to Foster Asset Recovery in Egypt,” will foster asset recovery procedures, as well as ensure a solid framework for the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption.
“This is a crucial and mandatory project in the current period which requires cooperation between all the formal and informal bodies in combating all forms corruption,” said Minister of State for Administrative Development Ashraf Abdel Wahab at the event launching the project.
“The project we are launching today offers the support and expertise in placing a national strategy to combat corruption, recovering the assets convened through corruptive methods, as well as giving the opportunity to civil society to help the government in raising awareness and combating corruption,” he explained.
Through a series of key activities, the project will support efforts to combat corruption and money laundering, strengthen national capacities to ensure asset recovery and promote transparency and good governance initiatives.
It also includes developing a national anti-corruption strategy, and strengthening the national legal framework on anti-corruption, anti-money laundering and asset recovery.
“I know that this issue is of paramount importance for this Ministry, which has been deeply involved in this fight for the last years,” said EU Ambassador to Egypt Marc Franco.
“This issue of corruption is now one of the highest topics on Egypt's political and judicial agenda, it is also of great importance for development partners, and with UNODC and others, we have now established a specific group of European and international donors to follow up on the issue,” he explained.
Franco also touched upon the fact that the EU delegation to Egypt has been keen on incorporating an asset recovery component in this €2.5 million project in line with the Egyptian people's expectations.
The UNODC, the EU's implementing partner in the project, will be helping the relevant Egyptian institutions who need the immediate support in recovering the stolen assets. Franco noted that it is especially important to ensure that justice decisions in this field are taken on a sound legal basis by national institutions that are recognized at the international level.
“If the requests for asset recovery are not in line with international law and are not expressed in a proper manner, they may ne rejected due to purely formal issues,” Franco said.
The project builds on the fulfilling the aspirations of the Egyptian people to eradicate corruption following the 25 January Revolution through “building institutional capacity to combat corruption and money laundering and to recover stolen assets and raising public awareness on the negative effects of corruption and money laundering,” explained UNODC Regional Representative for the Middle East and North Africa, Mohamed Abdul Aziz.
Drawing on its international expertise and comparative best practices, UNODC will be providing technical support and has experience in implementing anti-corruption projects in a number of countries and is entrusted with the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption.
On a final note, the EU ambassador pointed out that “corruption, if not stopped, progressively damages the whole state system and destroys the administration form inside,” adding that it creates a climate of mistrust and weakening the relationship between the state and its citizens.
Furthermore, Franco also noted that the fight against corruption in Egypt must also tackle its root causes, which are related to poverty and unfairness in the distribution of wealth.


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