Tackling corruption is a key priority for countries throughout the Eastern European region
A two-day regional conference, organized by UNDP in cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the State Commission for the Prevention of Corruption gathered government representatives, mayors, civil society, international organisations, and experts from Eastern Europe and the CIS to exchange experiences and knowledge of effective measures that have helped increase transparency, accountability and openness at municipal level.
“It is not by chance that this conference is being hosted in Skopje. The UNDP office here, together with our national partners, the State Comission for the Prevention of Corruption and the Secretariat for European Affairs, has invested a lot of efforts over the past years to promote transparency and accountability. Some significant results have been achieved, but more remains to be done”, said UNDP Resident Representative a.i. Alessandro Fracassetti.
For example, all 81 municipalities in the country have adopted a Code of Ethnics for Local Officials which was developed with the support of UNDP. And just this year, nine municipalities have already adopted anti-corruption policies fully committed to introducing integrity systems – an innovative initiative which has the potential to inspire and embrace many more leaders.
The President of the State Commission for the Prevention of Corruption, Gorgi Slamov, stated that “tackling corruption in a systematic way has been and will continue to remain a priority for the country in the forthcoming period as it is also a precondition for further European integration”.
Tackling corruption also remains a key priority on the reform agenda of countries throughout the Eastern European region. Measures to increase transparency and accountability have been introduced in many municipalities in the region, especially in the areas of public procurement, urban planning, and the delivery of essential services such as health and education. Despite these measures, the latest studies and assessments reveal that rates of corruption in Eastern Europe remain high.
“The seriousness of this problem clearly indicates a pressing need to modify existing anti-corruption mechanisms and to develop new and innovative approaches and this is the key objective of this Regional Conference”, said Francesco Checchi, UNDP Anti-Corruption Specialist from the UNDP Regional Center in Bratislava.
The participants of this conference developed an outcome document with recommendations on how to adress corruption and enhance transparency and accountability of municipalities. This document covers a broad range of issues such as enhancing participation of the citizens in the decision and policy making processes, endorsing open data, ensuring transparency of procurement processes and promoting accountability of elected officials at national and local level. The document will be presented at a UNDP Community of Practices meeting which will be held in Panama in November, on the side of the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).
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