Somalia: Corruption a Major Obstacle to Development and Erodes Public Trust in Somalia, UN Envoy Says.

The UN senior envoy in Somalia on Monday called on the government to enhance the fight against corruption which is an obstacle to development and erodes public trust.

James Swan, special representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia welcomed the country's progress in strengthening the rule of law and building accountable and transparent institutions and underlined the importance of continuing to work on these areas.

"Corruption is a major obstacle to development. It undermines efforts toward state-building, peace and reconciliation. It erodes public trust and weakens state institutions' ability to deliver to their people," Swan said in a statement issued to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day.

He said the UN is very encouraged by the recent signing into law by President Mohamed Farmajo of the bill on the establishment of the anti-corruption commission and the elaboration of the national anti-corruption strategy. "These are commendable steps forward for Somalia," said the UN envoy.

He said a key instrument to sustain, manage and track countries' fight against corruption is the UN Convention against Corruption, the world's only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument. According to Swan, although Somalia is yet to sign and ratify the Convention, the UN welcomes steps that are being taken towards this goal, such as the progress with the anti-corruption commission and the anti-corruption strategy.

He said the UN system has established an anti-corruption platform with international financial institutions and other development partners to provide technical and advisory services to Somalia in its efforts to curb corruption.

Other UN programs mobilize resources to support the country's anti-corruption efforts across the country, Swan said, centered on institutions and awareness-raising and on the judicial aspects of anti-corruption, such as criminalization and law enforcement, international cooperation and assets recovery in line with the Convention

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