Joint statement by international development partners in Nepal on the occasion of the International Day of Anti-Corruption
As the world marks the International Anti-Corruption Day on 9 December, Nepal’s Development Partners would like to encourage the Government of Nepal to continue addressing corruption and building a culture of integrity.
Nepal has made significant strides towards aligning its agenda to international corruption-reduction standards such as signing the Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2003, which was ratified in 2011. Nepal has since undergone its first review of the Convention’s chapters on criminalization, law enforcement, and international cooperation. We look forward to engaging with the Government of Nepal as well as with the civil society and other relevant stakeholders for addressing the gaps highlighted by the review.
Corruption and illicit financial flows present a major threat to Nepal’s economic development, good governance, national stability, business climate, and its achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals “(SDGs)”.A recent study by Global Financial Integrity and UNDP estimates that around US$ 9 billion have been diverted because of illicit financial flows from 2002 to 2011. These are resources that could, and should, have been used for social and economic development of Nepal.
With the global adoption of the SDGsin September 2015, there is a new momentum for Nepal to recognize that reducing corruption is key to reaching its development targets. Through an adaptive SDG agenda, Nepal can substantially reduce corruption in all its forms.
Nepal has been in a transitional context for more than a decade; this has resulted in political instability, weak rule of law and accountability. The 2015 earthquakes set back the achievement of development objectives further.
Nepal possesses extensive and detailed institutional and legal arrangements for combating corruption. A challenge is transformation of laws into real enforcement effort on the ground. Nepal also has a strategy and action plan in place for addressing corruption, however prioritization and closer follow-up from different stakeholders is needed to make real progress.
Despite these challenges, opportunities also emerge. TheConstitution of Nepal offers opportunities to promote transparency, accountability and integrity at all levels of government. Additionally, Nepal has a unique development opportunity with the current flow of aid in reconstruction and recovery after the earthquakes. To fully tap into the potential aid flow and mitigate potential corruption risks, we as development partners expect that the Government will step up in its fight against corruption and ensure complete transparency and accountability.
Issued by The UN Country Team in Nepal, Royal Norwegian Embassy, Embassy of Germany, EU Delegation in Nepal, Embassy of Switzerland, the Embassy of the UK and DFID, JICA Nepal Office, Asian Development Bank Nepal, Embassy of Finland, World Bank, the statement said international Development Partners working in Nepal will continue supporting the Government, the private sector and civil society to collectively promote integrity, transparency and accountability in governance.