Home News On International Anti-corruption Day an expert panel discussion in Armenia focused on Fighting Corruption for Sustainable Development Goals
2019 Dec

On International Anti-corruption Day an expert panel discussion in Armenia focused on Fighting Corruption for Sustainable Development Goals

9 December, 2019, Yerevan

On the occasion of the International Anti-Corruption Day, Transparency International Anticorruption Center of Armenia (TIAC) had organized a panel discussion under the theme Fighting Corruption for Sustainable Development Goals seeking to present and discuss the progress made by Armenia towards achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal 16. A large number of participants took part in the four separate panels, including representatives of the government, international organizations, civil society and the media.

In her opening remarks Executive Director of TI Armenia, Sona Ayvazyan expressed hope that the discussion would be helpful to the public as well as the authorities in their anti-corruption efforts. “Today’s discussion will largely focus on the anticorruption components of sustainable goal 16 and we very much hope that the fight against corruption in Armenia will become more effective as the government has committed to undertake radical reforms in this regard,” she added.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, US Ambassador Lynne Trace and UN Resident Coordinator for Armenia Shombi Sharp also delivered welcoming remarks to the event. While speaking of their efforts to eliminate systemic corruption in Armenia, PM Pashinyan underlined his government had the political will not to just simply fight corruption “but to root it out for good.”

US Ambassador Lynne Tracy welcomed the Armenian government’s efforts against corruption and noted that “the US government is committed to supporting the rule of law and anti-corruption efforts in areas where we can be most effective.”

Shombi Sharp, UN Resident Coordinator for Armenia highlighted the damages inflicted by corruption and the global significance of fighting it. “Every year, trillions of dollars – the equivalent of more than 5% of global GDP – are paid in bribes or stolen through corrupt practices that seriously undermine the rule of law and abet crimes such as the illicit trafficking of people, drugs and arms,” Mr. Sharp noted.

TI Armenia expert Khachik Harutyunyan then went on to present a report prepared by TIAC on the progress Armenia has made towards achieving sustainable goal 16 targets. The report includes a range of recommendations for Armenia in areas of the fight against money laundering, transparency of beneficial owners, recovery of stolen assets, combating organized crime, corruption experience and perceptions, anti-corruption system and institutions and other issues.

Four subsequent panel discussions touched upon the aforementioned issues in far more details, presented the issues and proposed different solutions regarding the following targets of SDG 16:  

Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms (16.5)

By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime (16.4)

Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels (16.6)

Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements (16.10)

Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Armenia, Lena Nazaryan gave closing remarks to the event. Addressing the problem of corruption, Mrs Nazaryan particularly noted that there was no longer a political patronage of corruption in Armenia. “In our perception corruption is not only a legal violation, a crime, a deplorable phenomenon but also a personal insult: we see it as an insult to our dignity,” Mrs. Nazaryan concluded.

The expert panel discussion organized by TIAC on International Anti-corruption Day was implemented in the frameworks of the Engaged Citizenry for Responsible Governance Project carried out with support from USAID.

See Sustainable Development Goal 16: Recommendations developed by TIAC