Blaskhart: The “theft of the century” will not be the last in Iraq, and the government has taken encouraging steps

  • Time: 12/09/2022 10:55:54
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Blaskhart: The "theft of the century" will not be the last in Iraq, and the government has taken encouraging steps


Message from Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq

On the International Anti-Corruption Day

December 9, 2022

Systemic change will prove vital to Iraq’s future

Widespread and systemic corruption is one of the biggest challenges facing Iraq. Its economic cost and negative impact on stability and prosperity are enormous. It undermines progress, disenfranchises citizens, discourages international investment, and robs the state of the resources needed to provide its citizens with better schools, hospitals, roads, and countless other public services.

I’ve said it many times before, most recently at the UN Security Council in October: Corruption is one of the main causes of the dysfunction in Iraq, and keeping the system “as is” will backfire in the end.

And the latest major corruption case in Iraq, dubbed “theft of the century,” will unfortunately not be the last, and we can only hope that it serves as a wake-up call. There is no doubt that systemic change will prove vital to the country’s future. However, this change will not happen overnight. It will require intense work, perseverance, team efforts and the realization that now is the time to act with integrity.

While the government has taken a number of encouraging steps, it is no secret that these efforts may be hampered or undermined by those who stand to lose. But let me stress that they should not be given any respite.

This year’s International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD) seeks to highlight the intrinsic link between anti-corruption, peace, security and development. Under the slogan “Unifying the World Against Corruption,” this day confirms that confronting this crime is a right and a responsibility for all.

In this spirit and for the sake of future generations, let us all work together, in Iraq and elsewhere, both as individual citizens and those in public office, striving for accountability, transparency, the rule of law, and building a system that serves the need of society rather than serving a narrow group of accomplices who care little. in the national interest. The expropriation of state resources for private and factional interests must stop. Ensuring accountability across the spectrum will be essential.

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