Somalia’s Commemoration of International Anti-Corruption Day
On December 9, 2018, the Federal Government of Somalia, led by the Ministry of Justice and Judiciary Affairs, held a celebratory event commemorating International Anti-Corruption Day in Mogadishu. The Government underscored its commitment to tackle the scourge of corruption as a strategic priority. December 9th is marked each year on the anniversary of the ratification of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, with 2018 marking the 15th anniversary of the Convention.
The high-level event was opened by statements from Somalia’s Auditor-General Mohamed Ali “Afgoye” and Attorney General Ahmed Ali Dahir, both of whom discussed the country’ssystemic corruption challenge and the need for a concerted, comprehensive approach. In the keynote speech delivered by Minister of Justice and Judiciary Affairs, H.E Hassan Hussein Haji, the Minister underlined the need to change dangerous narratives about Somalia, the range of measures adopted by the Government to seriously address corruption, as well as the imminent launch of Somalia’s first National Anti-Corruption Strategy and the establishment of the Anti-Corruption Commission. The Minister listed key reforms undertaken by the Government in recent years, adding: “It is high time that we reject and change dangerous narratives. The Federal Government of Somalia has done much over the last few years to not only change perceptions, but to change the reality. Our Government is the first Somali government to put corruption so high on its agenda… International Anti-Corruption Day provides an opportunity for Somalia and its international partners to stand united against corruption and reaffirm our mutual determination to strengthen transparency and accountability throughout the public and private sectors of Somalia. I would like to use this opportunity to call on the international community to continue to help push the Government’s good governance and anti-corruption reforms.” The Minister also confirmed the Government’s intention to ratify and sign the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in the near future.
The event featured participation from the Government’s international partners with statements being delivered by high-level delegates including Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Peter de Clercq, the Acting European Union Ambassador to Somalia Fulgencio Garrido Ruis “Pencho”, the United States Ambassador to Somalia Donald Y. Yamamoto, the United Kingdom Ambassador to Somalia David Concar, and World Bank Somalia Country Representative Hugh Riddell. The event equally boasted representation by a plethora of civil society groups including significant representation by youth and women.
At the event, the Ministry of Justice and Judiciary Affairs and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed the first part of an agreement to develop a comprehensive approach to tackle corruption in Somalia and lay the groundwork for the development of a national integrity system. At the signing ceremony, UNDP Somalia acting Resident Representative, George Conway, congratulated the government on the progress it has made in increasing transparency, accountability and the rule of law in Somalia, and reaffirmed the United Nations’ commitment to push these initiatives further.
The event concluded as it had been opened: in celebratory fashion, with the attendees being treated to traditional musical and theatrical performances on the topic of corruption.