Opening Speech By|
H.E. Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs
The International Anti-Corruption Conference for Asia
Doha, 9th June 2008
In the Name of the Almighty Allah, the Compassionate the Merciful.|
Ladies and Gentlemen
Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and His blesses.
H.H. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, has honored me to inaugurate this International Anti-Corruption Conference for Asia which is held under the auspices of His Highness. I start by welcoming all of you in the State of Qatar wishing you a happy stay and success in reaching the desired fruitful results.
Ladies and Gentlemen
In my opinion, the issue of anti-corruption comes within the broad concept of wise governance which is consensually deemed today as representing the most important element in the balanced human development without which no political stability or security can be achieved, whether at the national level or in the international community.
For the achievement of wise governance, democracy should be adopted on the basis of responsible popular participation without ignoring society's cultural particulars. In this context, we do not see democracy as just a matter of going to polls, but it is in our perception a tool for securing real popular participation in governing the state of constitution, rule of law and institutions. In this regard, it is not enough just to endorse rules for democratic government, but there should be commitment to such rules in letter and spirit.
Application of democracy should achieve the principles of transparency, control and accountability for making democracy a reference framework for wise governance, and making people and society guarantee a tool for control and accountability.
From another perspective, endorsing rules of democratic government will not be enough for the achievement of wise governance if they are not supported by implementation of comprehensive economic and social development. Wise governance is also linked to progress in the developmental concepts among which are those which focus on economic development and those which focus on sustainable human development correlated, at the national and international levels, with the interests of the present and future generations.
Manifestations of financial and administrative corruption constitute an obstacle facing development efforts, empty development plans of their content and derail them from their true course, because they exploit public resources to serve private purposes. Furthermore, corruption dangers penetrate into individuals' human and cultural values and their effects are reflected in people's social relations jeopardizing society's stability, lack of clarity of its vision and dilemma towards its present and future. As much as the public office should not be abused to make private profit or give predominance of nepotism at the expense of legal requirements governing the public office, the social responsibility of civil society institutions, the private sector and all individuals emerges as regards accountability by law against corruption.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our vision in the State of Qatar has been defined by the wise policy drawn up by H.H. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar. Indeed, we have become aware of the dangers of corruption and their effects on our efforts for political, economic and social development. We have confronted such dangers with a view to averting them through numerous political, legislative and regulatory measures such as endorsement of the 2005 Permanent Constitution, which ensures the above-mentioned principles, enactment of related legislations including the Law of the Judiciary, Law of the Public Prosecution, and Law of Combating Money Laundering under which the National Committee to Combat Money Laundering has been formed. In addition, the role of the Accounting Authority has been strengthened and its independence has been promoted as the highest authority for financial control in the State of Qatar. Besides, in 2007 Qatar acceded to the UN Convention Against Corruption. The National Committee for Integrity and Transparency was then formed. It aims to ensure the State of Qatar's compliance with its commitments under the UN Convention Against Corruption, work out a national strategy to promote integrity and transparency as well as set related norms, prepare the Public Employees' Integrity Charter, cooperation with regional and international organizations concerned with combating corrupt and exchange information with them. To empower this committee to exercise it powers with full independence it has been placed under the chairmanship of H.H. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the State of Qatar's Heir Apparent.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Combating corruption is an important and multi-faceted domain and every step forward in this respect represents an addition to economic and social development, building up the good citizen, advancing human and ethical values as well as realizing a prosperous, secure and happy society.
In conclusion, I wish you success in your deliberations and discussions to serve your mission.
Thank you very much.