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Korea and Qatar expand partnership to reinforce transparency and integrity measures



The anti-corruption bodies of Korea and Qatar signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of transparency and integrity

The anti-corruption bodies of Korea and Qatar agreed to share experiences and best practices in developing transparency and integrity assessment tools.

Pak Un Jong, Chairperson of the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC) of the Republic of Korea, and Hamad Bin Nasser Al-Misnad, President of the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority (ACTA) of Qatar, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Transparency and Integrity in Sejong on October 31st.

The signing event was attended by high-level representatives from both organizations, as well as Mohamed bin Abdullah Al-Dehaimi, Qatari Ambassador to Seoul.

Both organizations are "preventive anti-corruption bodies" under Article 6 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) that the two countries ratified in 2003 and 2007 respectively.

The signing of the MoU was proposed in late 2017 by the Qatari anti-corruption body which showed a keen interest in expanding cooperation and exchanging knowledge and experiences with Korea, especially in the assessment of integrity and anti-corruption training.

"The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding today reflects our vision of launching a strong partnership, which involves matters of research, training, evaluation, exchange of experts, etc. not only on the bilateral level, but more so on the regional and international levels," President Hamad said in his speech during the MoU signing event.

Under the MoU, the two organizations agreed to cooperate for the next three years in the field of transparency and integrity in areas of common interest, including exchanging experiences and best practices, developing indicators and assessment tools, and organizing training and capacity building programs.

"I believe the successful partnership between the ACRC and ACTA will not only help enhance anti-corruption capacities of the two countries, but also serve to set an international example in technical cooperation to implement the UNCAC" said the Chairperson of the ACRC.

Chairperson Pak acknowledged the leading role of the Qatari government that hosted in November 2009 the third session of the Conference of the States Parties to the UNCAC. The substantial outcomes of this Conference include the Implementation Review Mechanism, a peer review process that assists States Parties to effectively implement the Convention.

As a first step to following up the bilateral agreement, the ACRC will organize a study visit for the experts from Qatar from October 31st to November 2 on Korea’s various anti-corruption policies, including the Integrity Assessment and the Anti-Corruption Initiatives Assessment, which have won international recognition as best practices of anti-corruption measures.

Since 2002, the Korean government has conducted the Integrity Assessment to measure the integrity levels of each public organization based on a survey of citizens, public officials, business people and experts. The Integrity Assessment won the United Nations Public Service Awards in the category of preventing and combating corruption in the public service in 2012.

Korea developed the Anti-Corruption Initiative Assessment in 2002 as well to evaluate the relevance and effectiveness of anti-corruption efforts of public organizations. In partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Korea supported Vietnam in adapting the assessment system to its local context and successfully conducting the first "Provincial Anti-Corruption Assessment" for all 63 provinces of Vietnam in 2016.

On the last day of the study visit program in Sejong, the ACRC and ACTA plan to discuss future activities based on the knowledge and ideas on anti-corruption measures to be shared during the study visit.

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