DOHA/ Kuwait: The GCC states yesterday agreed to step up efforts to jointly fight corruption, and decided to form an ad hoc committee to prepare a draft GCC agreement on combating corruption.
The decision was taken at the first meeting of the heads of agencies responsible for promoting integrity and fighting corruption in the GCC states, held in Kuwait yesterday.
H E Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah, Chairman of the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority, represented Qatar in the two-day meeting.
An important decision taken at the meeting was to form an ad hoc committee with representatives from the member states and the GCC general secretariat to prepare a draft GCC agreement on combating corruption, Qatar News Agency reported yesterday.
The general secretariat was asked to circulate the draft agreement to the member states for their views and suggestions for amendments.
The meeting accepted an invitation extended by H E Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah to hold the second meeting of the GCC panel in Doha in February next year.
In his opening address, Abdul Rahman Al Nams, chairman of the anti-corruption body of Kuwait, said that the establishment of the GCC panel reflected the will of the Gulf countries to jointly fight corruption and create an integrated mechanism for this purpose.
This mechanism could help in tracking criminals in the member countries as well as the flow of funds resulting from corruption. It also underlines the importance of having a common law to fight corruption and joining international efforts in this regard, he added.
Abdul Latheef Al Ziyani, the GCC secretary general, also said that the meeting showed the concern of the GCC countries about the prevalence of corruption, which has now become a very complex issue and has acquired many new forms.
The meeting discussed whether the GCC as regional body should ratify the UN Convention against Corruption, and asked member countries to give their opinion to the general secretariat before the end of next month. The officials also decided to form an expert panel to study decisions and agreements in this regard.
The meeting called upon member countries to enhance international cooperation and exchange of information, and build their anti-corruption capabilities.
The participants agreed to develop a unified integrated system for exchange of experience between the anti-corruption bodies of the GCC countries and give their proposals on this issue to the GCC general secretariat.
The meeting accepted a proposal by Oman to organise workshops to discuss the annual corruption indices of the GCC countries issued by Transparency International, in collaboration with the GCC general secretariat.