Saudi Press

Saudi Arabia and the world
Friday, Feb 03, 2023

OIC meeting discusses Saudi efforts to fight corruption, promote integrity

Law enforcement agencies from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s member states have attended their first ministerial meeting, in Jeddah.
Heads of international bodies, such as the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Interpol and the Financial Intelligence Unit group, also attended the two-day meeting, which was held under the patronage of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and discussed the adoption of the Makkah Agreement, which aims at fighting corruption.

President of the Kingdom’s Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority Mazin bin Ibrahim Al-Kahmous said that Saudi Arabia supported efforts to combat corruption at local and international levels, as it constituted a pillar of Vision 2030.

He said that the meeting was a confirmation of the organization’s charter — which seeks to combat corruption, money laundering and organized crime — and embodied the strong relations between Islamic countries which helped signify a united front toward desired goals.

He added that the adoption of the Makkah Convention by member states would establish a new phase of cooperation in the field of combating corruption to serve common interests.

OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha said that the Makkah Agreement provided the most significant and effective framework for preventing and combating corruption in member states through effective prevention, law enforcement, international cooperation, and asset recovery mechanisms.

Taha called on the OIC states to engage in the fight against corruption by signing and ratifying the Makkah Agreement in order to enforce anti-corruption laws “in accordance with their legal systems and in line with the aspirations and perspectives of member states in the fight against corruption.”

When asked about the importance of fighting corruption in regard to national security, Abdul Majeed Al-Bunyan, director of Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, said: “The breakdown of law and order leads to corruption.

“However, its proliferation contributes significantly to state instability. Law enforcement agencies must be strong and competent to combat corruption in the light of national and international legislation that enables them to do their jobs effectively, and for societies to grow and advance.”

He cautioned that it would need determined efforts from all sides to accomplish the desired international collaboration through a more efficient sharing of information, the restriction of safe havens, and the tracking and recovery of stolen public funds.

According to Saudi political analyst Monif Alsofouqi, corruption is not restricted to theft and misuse of public funds.

He told Arab News it undermined the state’s ability to fulfill its legislative, executive, and supervisory responsibilities, and contributed to widespread unrest.

He added that many nations hoped to improve their standing in the eyes of potential investors by making strides in the battle against corruption.

He also pointed out that the fight against corruption was no longer a domestic issue, but increasingly an international problem affecting the economic performance of states.

International organizations used several methods in order to attract investment, he said, and arrangements evaluating competitiveness and the corruption index were two of the most important indicators determining the direction of foreign cash.

Abduraheem Al-Moghathawi, a former professor of higher studies at Islamic University, said: “Saudi Arabia is a sovereign country with a new vision and sophisticated methods of achieving economic and social growth rates, as well as growing intellectual and cultural awareness to increase care and attention given to civil rights.

“Combating corruption and maintaining public integrity in both private and public sectors are among the Kingdom’s domestic and exterior legal procedures.

“To fulfill its duty in the service of Saudi society, Saudi Arabia established the Public Prosecutors’ Office and the National Anti-Corruption Commission.

“The Kingdom is committed to eliminating corruption and promoting integrity in society through its Islamic status, national responsibility, and humanitarian commitments, particularly with the launch of Saudi Vision 2030.

“Participation of Saudi Arabia in international forums and organizations is focused on combating corruption and promoting public integrity in all domains, private and public.”

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