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Young ‘Transparency Knights’ gear up to fight corruption in Jordan

Jordan - Monday, August 14, 2017

While the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to complete the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), they also include additional areas of focus. A milestone addition is SDG 16, which is dedicated to the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, the provision of access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels. One of the targets of SDG 16 aims at substantially reducing corruption and bribery in all their forms. This is a very relevant objective for the Arab region, which scores 32.71 out of 100 in the 2016 Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International, compared to a global average of 42.94.The Jordan Transparency Center (JTC) and UNDP’s regional project on Anti-Corruption and Integrity in Arab Countries (ACIAC) have for several years joined efforts to help the country make greater strides in this regard. Now, they have another important ally to support their work. Since the beginning of 2017, and as part of a broader regional initiative by UNDP, JTC and ACIAC have been working with universities across different governorates, to raise the awareness of students on anti-corruption, connecting motivated youth and helping them to become more engaged in related discussions taking place at the national level.

In this framework, twenty-five university students organized under “Transparency Knights”, a youth-driven network established by JTC, met in Amman on 9 August to warm up for their battle against corruption. In five teams of two, volunteer students researched for a week information on international anti-corruption standards and their application in Jordan. Then reported back to their peers what they’ve found, also presenting their own ideas on the topic, their perception of the corruption phenomenon and recommendations on how to strengthen the youth’s role in fighting it.
By preparing these presentations, the youth had the opportunity to familiarize with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) – the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument –  its provisions and implementation review mechanism. Students have also highlighted Jordan’s anti-corruption measures and achievements so far, namely its establishment of the Anti-Corruption Commission in 2006 and its evolution afterwards to become the Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission in 2016, as well as the National Strategy for Integrity and Anti-Corruption for 2017-2025. A joint JTC-UNDP panel of experts listened to the presentations and provided technical feedback to each team, which will help the students improve in similar future endeavors. Arkan El Seblani, ACIAC’s Chief Technical Advisor congratulated all the youth for their efforts, underlying that "this is just the beginning of a long journey, where each and everyone’s efforts is key towards a future with more transparent and less corrupt institutions”. The panel also awarded Ms. Lara Obaid and Ms. Baraa Ghayyada as the best team, who gave a brilliant presentation of UNCAC’s review mechanisms.


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