Over a hundred representatives from twenty ministries and institutions across the Iraqi government attended a workshop organized by NATO in Baghdad, on 24 to 26 April 2018. The focus was on best practices to strengthen transparency, accountability and good governance within the national security institutions and other government structures.
Brigadier General Francesco Giuliano, NATO Senior Military Officer in Iraq, underlined the impact of corruption on lasting security. "The effects of corruption are devastating for the state, as they cause defence systems to fail, " he pointed out. Transparent and accountable defense institutions are key to the stability of states. In accordance with the NATO Building Integrity Policy endorsed by the Heads of State and Government at the NATO Warsaw Summit in 2016, the Alliance provides support to its members and partner countries to strengthen good governance and integrity in their national defence and security structures.
The seminar provided a forum for the Iraqi representatives to exchange views, including with international partners, on how to tackle issues of corruption within their respective organizations. Following the military defeat of Daesh, the Government of Iraq has made the fight against corruption its top priority. The process of fighting corruption is complex. Quoting the Iraqi Prime Minister, "fighting against corruption in our country is more dangerous than the war against terrorism," Brigadier General Riyadh from the Prime Minister National Operations Centre said. The participants also discussed about how to identify corruption risks, develop mitigation strategies and mechanisms of accountability and oversight, and strengthen professionalism and the culture of integrity in public institutions through education and training.
The fight against corruption requires a comprehensive approach. Against this background, the mentioned workshop featured the participation by representatives of other international organizations, including - amongst others - the United Nations, the European Union, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
This initiative was part of a series of workshops organized by NATO to boost cooperation between Iraqi civil and military institutions. These events contribute to the wider NATO training and capacity building efforts aimed at improving the effectiveness and sustainment of the Iraqi security structures.