“Corruption is criminal, immoral and the ultimate betrayal of public trust.” - Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General.
3 December 2020, TASHKENT – In the run-up to International Anti-Corruption Day on 9 December, UNDP Uzbekistan, OSCE and national partners including the National Council on Anticorruption, Anti-corruption Agency and the Academy of the Prosecutor General’s Office, are presenting the joint achievements made and identifies priorities for fighting corruption in Uzbekistan at the Conference dedicated to the launch of the anti-corruption week. They are also reaffirming Uzbekistan’s commitment to preventing and addressing corruption’s impacts on local, regional and international levels
The conference has been attended by participants from a range of countries that are effectively fighting corruption, including Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria, Malaysia and others. This conference serves as a platform for delegations to share best international experience and practices.
Over the past four years Uzbekistan has made significant efforts to ensure its people feel confident that their leaders in national public and private sectors operate in a transparent and ethical way. With the establishment of a new anti-corruption agency in the country, and having advanced five positions in the Transparency International index in 2019, Uzbekistan is steadily progressing in this field.
In 2020 and considering the multitude of health and socio-economic challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has posed in Uzbekistan, as it has for nations around the world, the existence of strong anti-corruption tools and mechanisms is more important than ever.
“Corruption undermines all development efforts, but now more so than ever, with unprecedented corruption risks in the supply of medical equipment, the distribution of vaccines, and the rapid roll-out of social protection measures. Every year, an estimated US$2.6 trillion is lost to corruption globally, while at least $500 billion is lost to corruption in the health sector – more than the total cost of global Universal Health Coverage. Corruption in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic could be a matter of life and death for those most at risk of being left behind.” – said Ms. Matilda Dimovska, UNDP Uzbekistan Resident Representative during her opening remarks.
With this in mind, UNDP is currently working together with countries around the world to further integrate anti-corruption initiatives both during and beyond the COVID-19 recovery, focusing on SDG 16 (Peace, justice and strong institutions), on the matters of business integrity and social accountability, and the appropriate application of technology and innovation. Last but not least, there is a need to support and empower existing anti-corruption bodies. These global directions of work are likewise being undertaken by UNDP in Uzbekistan.
Since the adoption of the law ‘On anti-corruption’ in 2017, Uzbekistan has doubled its efforts to prevent corruption in the public sector, created a dedicated agency and has widened international cooperation to achieve this end.
Most notably, ‘Preventing corruption through effective accountable and transparent governance institutions in Uzbekistan’ (PCEAT) project has been operating since 2018. This significant undertaking implemented by UNDP, the Ministry of Justice and the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Uzbekistan, has sought to eliminate both the perception and existence of corruption nationwide.