**President of the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority (ACTA):
- The directives of H.H. the Amir of Qatar, not to tolerate financial and administrative corruption, or to use the public position for special purposes poses as a guiding light for the authority in all its activities.
- Qatar has become a regional and international key destination in the field of integrity and transparency, and is keen to share its experience with neighboring countries
- Qatar has a proactive vision in strengthening legal and institutional frameworks to enhance integrity
Qatar’s commitment to joint regional and international work is long-standing and well-founded, including in areas of enhancing integrity, transparency and anti-corruption
**Dr. Ahmed Barak:
- We take into consideration and appreciation the important Qatari role in establishing the United Nations Convention against Corruption into practice, especially the Doha Declaration
**The memorandum aims to cooperate in area of preventing and combating corruption
**The signing of the MoU is the culmination of the distinguished relations between Qatar and Palestine
February 23, 2020 – H.E. Hamad bin Nasser Al-Misnad, President of the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority (ACTA), and H.E. Counselor Dr. Ahmed Barak, Head of the Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission, signed on Sunday a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for cooperation between the two authorities in the field of preventing and combating corruption.
The signing of the memorandum came within the framework of launching a strategic partnership between the two authorities, in light of the distinct relationship between the State of Qatar and the State of Palestine in various fields. After signing the MoU, experts from both authorities presented their efforts in areas of enhancing integrity and anti-corruption, including the most important achievements and projects that they are working on.
The MoU was signed at the headquarters of ACTA, during the visit of a delegation from the Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission to the State of Qatar.
During his speech on this occasion, H.E. Hamad bin Nasser Al-Misnad, President of ACTA, expressed his pleasure to sign the MoU with the Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission, to exchange experiences and good practices on ways to enhance transparency, integrity and anti-corruption, describing it as the beginning of a successful and continuing relationship in various areas of common interest. “
H.E. said: “The cooperation that we are launching today with the Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission is consistent with what H.H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Amir of Qatar provides to the State of Palestine with support covering all political, economic and humanitarian fields, and what His Highness’s speeches and statements confirm in all international and regional forums, in support of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people”.
Also, H.E. President of ACTA added that the relationship between the State of Qatar and the State of Palestine is firm and strong in various fields including the political and economic fields, “Today, we add to this distinguished relationship a new pivot of successful and constructive cooperation between the two countries.” H.E. emphasized that the signing of the MoU reflects the aspiration of the authorities to enhance the exchange of experiences and the expansion of cooperation in research and training fields, for the benefit of all national authorities in both countries.
H.E said, “This cooperation comes in the context of Qatar’s commitment to support international efforts to achieve security, stability, sustainable development, enhance integrity and transparency, and combat corruption at the regional and international levels”.
Furthermore, H.E. President of ACTA added that the commitment of the State of Qatar to joint regional and international work is firm and well-founded, including the areas of enhancing integrity, transparency and anti-corruption, which is a constant commitment that makes the State of Qatar always provide a hand of cooperation to the international community to prevent corruption in all its forms. Qatar is also keen to benefit from all experiences, which made it the regional and international destination in this field.
H.E. expressed ACTA’s keenness to acquaint the Palestinian side with the Qatari experience in preventing and combating corruption, and the achievements of ACTA in this field and its most important future projects.
Respectively, President of ACTA said: “We are very keen to get acquainted with the diverse experiences of the Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission and its completed and existing projects. Thus, enabling us to get acquainted directly with possible areas of cooperation, discuss practical steps to enhance mutual cooperation and exchange of experiences and best practices in the coming period”.
Correspondingly, H.E Dr. Ahmad Barak assured that the signing of the MoU between the two authorities comes as a culmination of continuous cooperation between the State of Qatar and the State of Palestine in all fields, “where the State of Qatar was and remains supportive to us in our cause and in the establishment of the State of Palestine, a state we want to be based on the foundations of democracy and the rule of law, a country dominated by principles of integrity, accountability and anti-corruption”.
Dr. Barak also stressed that the signing of the MoU between the two authorities serves many fields in enhancing joint cooperation between the two countries in areas of anti-corruption. Also, in achieving the maximum benefit from exchanging experiences, identifying best practices in the field of corruption prevention and law enforcement, and enhancing the principles of integrity, transparency and accountability.
The Head of the Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission continued: “These fields include specialized training courses, exchange of experiences, enhancement of capabilities, studies and academic research, exchange of information and studies related to measures taken within the framework of legal powers, exchange of the best and successful practices, and approved approaches that have proven effective in the legislative and practical fields through participation in conferences, seminars and workshops in the field of anti-corruption”.
He said that among the fields also is “organizing joint training courses and reciprocal work visits between the two parties with a view to exchanging experiences in the field of preventing and combating corruption”. Noting that by signing this MoU “we seek to make the most of Qatar’s efforts in this field, taking into consideration and appreciating the important Qatari role in setting the United Nations Convention against Corruption into practice, and its initiatives in this field, in particular the Doha Declaration”.
In addition, the head of the Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission described corruption as “a destructive scourge that undermines development efforts and causes severe damage at all levels. Realizing the devastating effects of corruption, the State of Palestine has worked to combat it with a set of reform policies, starting with the establishment of the Anti-Corruption Commission in 2010, as an independent commission, and granting it wide competencies in areas of corruption prevention and awareness of its dangers, as well as law enforcement through the discovery of corruption and the prosecution and accountability of its perpetrators. It was also entrusted with designing a general policy to anti-corruption in cooperation with all groups of society”.
Dr. Barak said: The authority worked with its partners and a participatory effort to prepare national strategies to anti-corruption, the first strategy spanned between the period 2012-2014, and the second spanned between the period 2015-2018, and its implementation was extended for an additional year. He pointed out that at the end of last year, he announced the launch of the national cross-sectoral strategy to enhance integrity and anti-corruption for the years 2020-2022, which distinguished it from its predecessors by opening up to all groups of society, including civil society institutions, that participated in the formulation and preparation of the strategy and will be a partner with all the relevant authorities in a national team, which is formed to monitor and evaluate their implementation.
He stressed the importance of keenness to create a Palestinian environment that is fair and anti-corruption, in order to achieve a society free from corruption. Noting the authority’s partnership with the civil society and all its components to reach this vision, “A partnership that goes beyond desire, which is manifested as a real need. Also, efforts to anti-corruption should be concerted in a comprehensive process that is not limited to a specific party, but rather represents integrated national efforts that intersect with all sectors and belong to all groups”.
Dr. Barak said that, based on the fact that corruption is transboundary and its devastating effects extend internationally, the United Nations Convention against Corruption has encouraged states parties to cooperate with each other and conclude bilateral agreements to put their provisions into practice, whether those related to the prevention of corruption, or law enforcement and international cooperation and asset recovery.
The signing of the MoU between ACTA and the Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission came in recognition of the importance of enhancing integrity and transparency at the national and international levels, in addition to the definite importance of holding regional alliances and building institutional partnerships in developing national legislative systems with lessons learned internationally, and raising the level of normative compatibility with relevant international obligations.
The signing of the MoU came as an awareness of the two authorities regarding the role of anti-corruption authorities in strengthening coordination mechanisms with the rest of the relevant authorities in the state. This is to review implementation of relevant international obligations, to facilitate the path of international cooperation in the area of preventing and combating corruption, and to coordinate efforts and exchange successful experiences in the area of preventing and combating corruption. This is within the provisions of both the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the Arab Convention against Corruption.
The MoU aims to enhance bilateral cooperation in preventing and combating corruption, deepening awareness of the risks of corruption and its regional repercussions, and expanding the circle of community participation, through the definition and effective awareness in preventing corruption, especially among the youth and the media.
The areas of cooperation – as defined by the agreement – include cooperation and coordination in the area of preventing, combating and measuring corruption, assessing its risks and the most appropriate ways to combat it, coordinating efforts and initiatives in the activities, meetings and conferences of states parties in international and regional agreements related to anti-corruption, and cooperation in the field of specialized training courses, exchanging experts and enhancing users capabilities and skills.
The fields of cooperation also include academic studies and research related to corruption practices, the exchange of information and studies related to the measures taken within the framework of the legal competences of each party, aimed at preventing and combating corruption, and investing practical experiences in the field of mechanisms for reviewing the implementation of the obligations stipulated in the relevant international and regional agreements. Also, the exchange of successful and best practices and approved approaches that have proven effective in the legislative and practical fields, through participating in seminars, workshops, forums and conferences in area of preventing and combating corruption, organizing joint training sessions to build the technical capacity of public officials on both sides, and reciprocal visits of work between the two parties for the purpose of exchanging experiences in the field of preventing and combating corruption, and provide technical assistance on practical activities.
The MoU signing ceremony witnessed the presentation of a short film on the efforts of ACTA in the field of integrity, transparency and anti-corruption. Additionally, Ms. Amal Ahmed Al-Kuwari, Director of the Control and Development Department in ACTA, presented the Qatari experience in enhancing integrity, transparency and anti-corruption. Mr. Saeed Shehata, Director of Public and International Relations in the Palestinian Anti-Corruption Authority, also presented the Palestinian experience in preventing and combating corruption.