2019-01-16 17:16:00

Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah launched on Tuesday the “National Strategy to Promote Integrity and Combat Corruption” as part of his country’s International Anti-Corruption Conference, entitled “Integrity for Development.”

Head of Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) Abdurrahman al-Nemash announced the launching of the strategy, saying “it represents a cornerstone of the concerted national efforts.”

“The strategy focuses primarily on boosting the rule of law, bolstering the values of integrity, transparency, and accountability, questioning violators and supporting the citizens' confidence in the government’s reform and development efforts,” said Nemash.

He added that it also places Kuwait in its rightful place on all international indicators related to combating corruption and economic competitiveness, achieving maximum integration and cooperation among government institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector; and providing a favorable business environment to achieve the country’s vision 2035.

For his part, Minister of Justice and Minister of State For National Assembly Affairs Fahad al-Afasi said that Kuwait has been following a steady pace of development since the establishment of Nazaha, adding that it is witnessing a qualitative stage with firm determination and will to eradicate corruption and restore the values of transparency and integrity.

“The clear and serious will of the Emir of Kuwait to fight corruption and reduce its effects has prompted the ministry, through Nazaha, to formulate a civilized vision and a strategic plan.”

He said this achieves the advancement factors and boosts the country’s development plan in the economic, social and cultural sectors.

Director of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Regional Hub for the Arab States Khaled Abdelshafi also commended Kuwait for its initiative to host the international conference.

He stressed that anti-corruption policies are very important and sought by various governments around the world.

Corruption comes at a cost, said Abdelshafi, revealing that the annual cost for corruption worldwide has amounted to $2.6 trillion, around five percent of the world's national income.

The cost in the Arab region, in particular, is about $90 billion annually, he added.

The UNDP regional official said that corruption also took its toll on other sectors, saying that economy was not the only victim.

He added that in order to combat corruption, the rule of law must be applied no matter the cost.