In the Name of God, The Most Compassionate, The Most Merciful
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a pleasure to welcome you in Doha, at the outset of the 6th Global Forum for Fighting Corruption and Safeguarding Integrity.
Undoubtedly, the high level participation in this forum reflects the world states' interest in the topics on its agenda, and the importance of the role undertaken by the previous global forums at the national and international levels in fighting corruption.
These forums have achieved a lot since the first global forum held in Washington in 1999 despite the numerous challenges which should be met. Undoubtedly, these forums reflect the importance of international cooperation to repulse such a dangerous phenomenon, the scope of which has extended worldwide, and is affecting the rich, poor, developed and underdeveloped nations.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The topics on the agenda for discussion during the Forum, deal with many important issues related to fighting corruption, for example, the separation of powers, independence of judiciary, enhancing culture of integrity and safeguarding it as well as partnership between the public and private sectors in building institutions for fighting corruption.
No doubt this agenda reveals the various aspects and ramification of the problem, since the corruption phenomenon has several dimensions, namely: social, economic, moral, educational, cultural, religious and political. Thus fighting corruption is not confined to one dimension, but it is rather an integrated mechanism which should cover all those elements and find appropriate solutions to all of them. Otherwise our efforts will remain insufficient to deal effectively with this phenomenon.
Once the political, social and economic systems of the states fail to provide the minimal level of political rights, social welfare and adequate standard of decent living to their citizens, then any talk about fighting corruption would remain a sort of luxury which would fall on deaf ears.
This is a vicious circle, since corruption in itself hinders development as it impairs criteria upon which institutions are based, and substitutes nepotism for integrity and efficiency, replaces public interest upon which public projects are based with vested interests that lead to adopting decisions harming the public interest.
The growing risk of corruption at the international and local levels prompted the United Nations to establish the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2003 to coordinate the international efforts related to fighting corruption and consolidate related national systems.
We in Qatar have adopted several important steps to respond to the international endeavors in this respect by being forthcoming in endorsing the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), and adopting lots of steps to put such a convention into practice.
Foremost among these steps were the establishment of the national committee for integrity and transparency (NCIT) for which we were keen to provide with all potentials, enabling it to assume its mission with complete objectivity and independence.
The State of Qatar has been credited with an advanced position among nations in terms of fighting corruption as per the 2007 and 2008 rating of the Transparency International (TI) and has occupied the first position at the Arab level.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
My speech cannot tackle the subject on your agenda in details, since the different aspects of corruption would be a theme for your consideration and deliberations during this forum, and the forums to follow. Rather I want to focus on a single issue I deem very important, that is the religious, cultural and moral dimensions of the corruption problem.
Unless we act for building the open-minded, enlightened and productive individual who is armed with religious and moral values, and cognizant of the duties of citizenship and its rights, our efforts would remain short of realizing its cherished target. Unless we act to make the citizen and the official aware of the meaning of the sense of duty and respectful to the public good and the public interest standards of the job, the anti-corruption process would remain a mere criminal operation linked to the ability of the judiciary and the prosecution to arrest the culprits
Among the key factors that made Qatar occupies such an advanced position as per the Transparency International rating are the nature of the Qatari society and its adherence to the moral values and principles of Islam that insists on the sanctity of the public funds and the non-exploitation of public job for personal interests, and who is keen on the individual social reputation and encouragement for integrity and keeping clear of suspicion in addition to the role of the educational institutions in upbringing the coming generations to adhere to these norms and values.
While we appreciate your valued effort, which you have been exerting in this field, we are confident that the results and recommendations that you would reach during this forum would be an important addition in our joint pursuit to find suitable solutions for this scourge, which has become a stumbling bloc on the path of human progress and movement to provide a decent life for the peoples of the world at large.
In conclusion of my speech, I wish success to your deliberations and conference, and I wish a good stay to you in Qatar.
May Peace and Mercy of Allah be upon you all.