Search

 

Cablegate: Conference On Iraq's Anti-Corruption Strategy

VZCZCXRO5053
RR RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #2576/01 2691102
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 261102Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4831
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 002576

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KCOR ECON IZ
SUBJECT: CONFERENCE ON IRAQ'S ANTI-CORRUPTION STRATEGY

REF: BAGHDAD 2520

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. Leaders of Iraq's main anti-corruption
institutions held a conference with UNDP project managers and
officials of the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Amman
September 7-10 to put finishing touches on Iraq's national strategy
for compliance with the UN Convention against Corruption. The GOI
expects to unveil the strategy in late October, and it will provide
donors a good framework for aid programs in anti-corruption and
other areas. ACCO is convening a NGO forum September 28 to promote
NGO involvement in anti-corruption efforts, consistent with precepts
of Iraq's new strategy. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) Following up on meetings last April with UNODC and UNDP
officials, Iraqi anti-corruption officials and NGO's met in Amman
September 7-10 to refine Iraq's emerging anti-corruption strategy
(Ref A). Representatives from Iraq's Board of Supreme Audit (BSA),
the Commission on Integrity (COI), Inspectors General from key
ministries, the Central Bank, the Council of Representatives and
elements of civil society attended the workshop. Ali al-Alaq, the
Secretary General of Iraq's Council of Ministers who chairs the
Joint Anti Corruption Committee for the Prime Minister also
attended, along with Embassy Anti-Corruption Coordinator and staff
members.

3. (SBU) The Iraqis convened six working groups to flesh out ideas
on: improving protection for witnesses and whistleblowers; crafting
codes of conduct (including creating conflict of interest guidelines
for public officials); improving Iraq's civil code and rules on
political party finances; and clarifying terms of political
appointments in public service. UN officials provided feedback and
finalized with Iraqi principals a new draft strategy, mechanisms for
implementation, and roll-out plans for Iraq's governorates. The
committees also recommended that Iraq improve transparency of
political party and campaign financing and create firewalls between
government institutions and political party operations.

Key Challenges
--------------

4. (SBU) The draft strategy focuses extensively on improving
cooperation among ministries, improving the legal framework and
regulations governing Iraq's public workforce, and increasing
citizen awareness of government actions, including budgeting. It
prescribes 18 areas for corrective action designed to secure Iraq's
compliance with UNCAC. These include promoting a market economy;
implementing civil service reform; improving media coverage of
judicial process in corruption cases; executing reforms to the
judicial and financial systems, including enhanced budget
transparency; more transparent public procurement; and new education
and media initiatives.

Keeping the Public on Board
---------------------------

5. (SBU) Participants noted the challenges of focusing public
attention on the new strategy, once unveiled. UNDP Director in
Amman Paolo Lembo stressed the importance of public awareness
campaigns to gain buy-in from Iraqis, a theme echoed by Iraqi NGOs
that attended.

6. (SBU) Commission on Integrity head Judge Raheem al-Ugaily told
Iraqi media at the conference that anti-corruption is a "new
concept" that needs constant outreach to both government and
society. He said international assistance was critical and stressed
the need to secure passage of key legislation (e.g., the proposed
comprehensive anti-corruption law) for thorough implementation of
the strategy.)

7. (SBU) In his statement at the conference, COM SecGen Alaq
expressed satisfaction with the discussion, saying they had advanced
anti-corruption efforts and promoted strengthening of Iraq's
Qanti-corruption efforts and promoted strengthening of Iraq's
institutional capacity. Alaq thanked the UN and US for their
support, and agreed with Ugaily that international inputs were
critical to success of the effort. While Iraqi leaders had
developed a "strategic framework" he noted, "we still need the
support of the organizations that have the expertise in this area to
help guide outcomes."

8. (SBU) COMMENT: The conference brings to fruition a months-long
effort by the GOI to devise a strategy that, if implemented
effectively, will result in substantial progress toward Iraq's
long-term goal of fashioning a strong anti-corruption regime. The
draft strategy, while still subject to some alterations in the next
month, offers a fairly honest assessment of key challenges and will
help both the GOI and donors better consolidate efforts. The
conference was noteworthy for the presence of NGOs as well as the
three independent anti-corruption agencies, parliament and the
council of ministers. ACCO is convening a forum September 28 to
promote NGOs' involvement in anti-corruption efforts consistent with
the new strategy and UNCAC provisions.


BAGHDAD 00002576 002 OF 002


HASLACH

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Save The Children: Tonga Volcano Ash And Smoke Cause Concern For Air And Water Safety
Families in Tonga are at risk of exposure to unsafe air and water due to ash and smoke from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano that erupted on Saturday, reports Save the Children...
More>>



Sudan: 15 Attacks On Health Facilities And Workers In Two Months

With the crisis escalating in Sudan, there have been 15 reports of attacks on healthcare workers and health facilities since last November, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday... More>>

Kazakhstan: Bachelet Urges Peaceful Resolution Of Grievances
Amid alarming reports of deadly violence in Kazakhstan, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday urged all, including security forces, protesters and others, to refrain from violence and to seek a peaceful resolution of grievances... More>>


Tigray: Agencies Suspend Aid As ‘Scores’ Are Killed Due To Airstrikes
Recent airstrikes on camps for internally displaced persons and refugees in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, have reportedly killed scores of civilians, including children, and left many more injured... More>>


UN News: For 25th Year In A Row, Greenland Ice Sheet Shrinks

2021 marked the 25th year in a row in which the key Greenland ice sheet lost more mass during the melting season, than it gained during the winter, according to a new UN-endorsed report issued on Friday... More>>


Afghanistan: Economy In ‘Freefall’, Threatening To Take Entire Population With It

Afghanistan’s economy is in “free fall”, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told a special meeting on Sunday, warning that if decisive and compassionate action is not taken immediately, it may “pull the entire population with it”... More>>