SAARC countries acknowledge need for anti-corruption forum

ISLAMABAD, Sep 27 (APP): The representatives of anti-corruption authorities of the SAARC countries on Tuesday acknowledged the need for creating a SAARC Anti-Corruption Forum (SAARC-ACF) to interact on regular basis for deliberating anti-corruption issues and other areas of mutual cooperation for the purpose.

The proposal to create the forum was floated by Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Qamar Zaman Chaudhry at a two-day SAARC Nations Seminar on Anti-Corruption that concluded here a at a local hotel on Tuesday.

At conclusion of the seminar, Chairman NAB read out a joint declaration in which the participants resolved to work collectively to find out the causes of corruption in South Asia and identify the ways to reducing and eradicating corruption from the South Asian societies.

They agreed to share the experiences, expertise, tools and techniques among the SAARC Member States to identify the corruption and corrupt practices and their eradication from the South Asian region.

The participants proposed to initiate programmes for the capacity building of the personnel of the anti-corruption authorities of the SAARC member countries.

They held thorough discussion on the following issues in the plenary sessions:

A) Awareness (Education) and Prevention.
B) Enforcement (Investigation) and Prosecution.
C) International Cooperation
D) Asset Recovery.
E) Technical Assistance and Information sharing.

The participants agreed for joint efforts at SAARC platform
for creating public awareness in South Asia. They also agreed to initiate formulating the “Guidelines” to govern SAARC-ACF in consultation with and approval of their respective governments.

Chairman NAB while appreciating the insights from member states said that during the two-day activity, the anti-corruption authorities of participating countries had a good opportunity to know and discuss issues of corruption in detail.

“We’ve commonality of issues and discussed in detail how to tackle the issue of corruption jointly,” he said.

He said SAARC states needed a programme to regularly interact with each other for making the region corruption free adding that NAB was forthcoming to extend all sort of support for the purpose.