EU calls for more anti-corruption measures from Afghan government

Addressing the 6th annual Anti Corruption Conference, EU ambassador Von Brandt emphasized the need for strong anti-corruption measures as an important tool to “build trust between government and people” for sustainable peace

Nov 13, 2020
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Addressing the 6th annual Anti Corruption Conference, EU ambassador Von Brandt emphasized the need for strong anti-corruption measures as an important tool to “build trust between government and people” for sustainable peace.

The conference came just two weeks before the Donor Conference which is scheduled to be held in Geneva where various foreign countries would pledge their financial support for Afghanistan. 

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani also announced the formation of an independent Anti Corruption Commission, later issued a decree for the same, as demanded by the EU ambassador.

Systematic corruption in the Afghan government hampered the will and determination of the western governments that pledge their taxpayers’ money in rebuilding the war-torn country. Over the last several years, the government introduced a slew of measures to bring transparency to the system. 

Von Brandt praised the government’s efforts like different regulatory frameworks and merit-based  civil service recruitment which have been “considerably improved.” 

He also highlighted the need to improve the legislative framework in order to fight the corruption threat but also expressed unhappiness over the government’s failure to pass the Anti Corruption Legislation in the parliament. “I was very concerned to hear that Wolesi Jirga (lower house of the Afghan parliament) rejected the anti-corruption law,” he remarked. 

He also said, “Everyone must be equal before the law if Afghanistan wants to build a strong culture of accountability and integrity.” Often in the past, the Afghan government failed to act on high profile personalities accused of corruption. 

A recent report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) came down heavily on the Afghanistan government. “Afghan government often makes paper reforms, such as drafting regulations and holding meetings rather than concrete actions that would reduce corruption, such as arresting powerful people.” the report says. 

Such remarks and the government’s consistent failure are likely to dampen the prospect of greater financial assistance from donor nations, that too at a time when the government is engaged fighting an ever-growing deadly war with the Taliban.

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