ISLAMABAD: As part of International Anti-Corruption Day initiatives, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has signed two new agreements to develop innovative solutions to end corruption and increase accountability in the country.
The agreements were signed by the UNDP Country Director Ignacio Artaza, Fayyaz Yasin of Accountability Lab and Syed Raza Ali of the Peace and Justice Network, respectively.
Speaking on the occasion, Artaza said, “Corruption and lack of accountability undermines the standing of countries…. Indeed, transparent, inclusive and accountable institutions are a prerequisite for sustainable development that benefits the most vulnerable in every area, from health and education to economic prosperity and environmental protection.”
He said that through our partnerships with the Accountability Lab and the Peace and Justice Network, UNDP would work with the government to test innovative solutions to Pakistan’s corruption challenges. Along with the Accountability Lab, UNDP would also partner with Integrity Idol, a national movement to recognise and celebrate honest government officials, he added.
Furthermore, he said that the partnership with the Peace and Justice Network would lead to the development of a knowledge hub and centre for justice statistics, and a roadmap for achieving SDG-16 by 2030.
He also said that it would also develop a network of civil society organisations across the country with the capacity to hold service providers accountable. The two organisations were members of the multi-stakeholder forum convened by Pakistan Economic Affairs Division for consultations around the open government platform under the National Action Plan (NAP).
It is important to mention here that corruption is a major obstacle for governance, development and democracy in the country. Pakistan ranked 116th out of 176 nations in Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for 2016, which signals an improvement in comparison to previous years, but also highlights the need for further improvement.