On December 19, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of the Republic of Uzbekistan attended the International Anti-Corruption Excellence Award Ceremony at the Tashkent Congress Center.
The event was attended by the Amir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the founder of the award, as well as representatives of the United Nations and delegations from over 40 countries, including all the winners of this international award.
Welcoming the participants to the Forum, the Head of Uzbekistan thanked the Amir of Qatar and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for proposing to hold this event in Uzbekistan. He also warmly congratulated the Qatari delegation and the people of Qatar on their Independence Day, which was widely celebrated on December 18.
The Uzbek Leader underlined that today Qatar is becoming a center of global cooperation and diplomacy, as evidenced by the successful hosting of the FIFA World Cup, the International Conference on Least Developed Countries, the World Expo "Expo Doha 2023," and many other international initiatives.
The development of Uzbek-Qatari relations to an entirely new level and the initiation of several major joint projects were noted with satisfaction. It was emphasized that the convening of the current Forum is a testimony to the commonality and alignment of goals between the two countries.
As the President of Uzbekistan noted, the establishment of a global award in the field of anti-corruption, which is one of the most pressing issues in the rapidly changing world, and the holding of the award ceremony on all continents deserves wide recognition.
- After all, the fight against corruption is the sacred duty of every individual with a clear conscience, of every democratic society and state, Shavkat Mirziyoyev stressed.
According to him, the recognition of merits and the awarding of this prestigious prize to individuals who demonstrate the highest activity and make a worthy contribution to the fight against corruption in the world is a consistent and full implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption adopted in 2003.
The President stated that corruption is a threat that undermines the foundations of all humanity and all societies, hits the economy, destroys the principles of the rule of law, greatly reduces people's confidence in state policies and hinders the development of democratic institutions.
According to analysis, the current damage caused by corruption in the world is about three trillion US dollars. However, I believe that this large figure does not fully reflect the true state of affairs and the real extent of the damage, the head of Uzbekistan stressed.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted that today Uzbekistan is implementing systemic legal and institutional reforms in the fight against corruption, working closely with the United Nations, the OECD and other reputable international structures. The Anti-Corruption Law has been adopted and an Anti-Corruption Agency with special powers has been established.
Preventive mechanisms aimed at ensuring transparency, openness of activities and increasing government accountability, reducing bureaucracy, simplifying public services and preventing corruption are widely implemented in practice.
In particular, compliance monitoring and performance evaluation systems have been established in all government agencies. Public procurement has been fully digitized.
In 2021, Uzbekistan will become a member of the International Open Data Charter and will actively participate in the Istanbul Action Plan, the Global Operational Network, the Eurasian and Egmont Groups, and many other platforms, and will fulfil the functions of the Secretariat of the Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network in Western and Central Asian countries.
The annual International Anti-Corruption Forum has become a tradition in Tashkent.
In recent years, our country has moved up 42 places in the Transparency International Index, with the aim of improving Uzbekistan's position in the ranking by a further 50 places by 2030.
In the Open Data Inventory ranking, Uzbekistan has moved up to 30th place and ranks 4th in the world in terms of the number of open data sources.
The President of our country declared that in the New Uzbekistan, democratic reforms are becoming irreversible, and we have also set ambitious plans and goals in the fight against corruption.
In order to achieve these goals, the Head of State has put forward a number of proposals and initiatives.
First and foremost, a national anti-corruption strategy will be developed and implemented by 2030.
Special attention will be paid to further ensuring transparency in the activities and accountability of government bodies, improving the open data system, strengthening the legal basis and institutional mechanisms in the fight against corruption.
Uzbekistan will also actively participate in regional and global initiatives and new projects in the field of anti-corruption. The opportunities offered by the Regional Platform of the Convention against Corruption, launched in Tashkent in November this year, will be fully exploited.
In addition, it is proposed to establish a regional research centre on corruption issues to exchange experiences and strengthen dialogue, and to conduct scientific work with the active involvement of non-governmental, non-profit organizations.
Close cooperation between the National Anti-Corruption Agency and foreign specialized institutions will also be intensified, which will further enhance the potential of this agency. New mechanisms, including the Institute for Preliminary Investigation of Corruption Cases - Anti-Corruption Investigation, will be implemented on the basis of advanced international experience.
The priority task is to form a new generation that will be given a "vaccination of integrity" from childhood. It is planned to fully implement the UN Global Resource Programme on Anti-Corruption Education and to promote anti-corruption activism among young people in the country.
The President of Uzbekistan also proposed to hold a Global Media Forum to effectively use the potential of journalists and further increase their influence in the fight against corruption.
The head of state concluded his speech by warmly congratulating all the winners of the prestigious award and wishing them every success in their pursuit of justice.
The President of Uzbekistan, together with the Amir of Qatar, ceremonially presented the statuettes of the International Anti-Corruption Excellence Awards to their recipients.
The prize in the category "Outstanding Achievement in the Fight against Corruption" was awarded to the former Chairman of the International Organization Transparency International, Jose Carlos Ugaz Sanchez Moreno (Peru).
In the category "Academic research and education", the awards went to Professor John Quah of the National University of Singapore (Singapore) and Professor Sunchana Roxandich of the University of Zagreb (Croatia).
The awards for "Youth Creativity and Engagement" went to the non-governmental organizations "Youth4IntegrityBuilding" (Kenya) - Director Damaris Asve, and "All4Integrity" (Portugal) - Founder Andre Correa D'Almeida.
Winners in the "Innovation and Investigative Journalism" category were investigative correspondent Claire Ruckas-Brown (United Kingdom) and former head of anti-corruption at the Department for International Development, Phil Mason.
In the "Safeguarding sport from corruption" category, the awards went to BBC journalist and presenter Vaheeda Maura (Kenya) and Shantanu Guha Ray, editor of Central European News (India).