Islamabad, January 7, 2022—The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in partnership with the Government of Pakistan, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) held the 7th International Seminar on the subject of ‘Combating corruption–a pre-requisite for the full realization of all human rights and sustainable development’.
Besides Commission Members, the Seminar was attended by experts from relevant organizations such as the OHCHR, UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, UNDP and UNODC. Many representatives from several OIC Member and Observer States including their National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) as well as civil society also actively participated.
The Seminar discussion focused on the negative effects of corruption on sustainable development and human rights. Discussion highlighted key challenges related to corruption in different countries that prevent full realization of human rights, and proposed ways and means to strengthen the role of existing national, regional, and international human rights mechanisms in building resilient systems based on rule of law that prevent corruption and enable sustainable development.
"We are happy that the Government of Pakistan and UN agencies are supporting this seminar on combating corruption, which only shows the importance of addressing the social evil that is gravely affecting human rights of all segments of society," said Dr Haci Ali Acikgul, Chairperson OIC-IPHCR.
"Human rights lens provides a valuable normative framework to address corruption, to foster a culture of transparency, accountability and rule of law, and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals," H.E. Ambassador Askar Mussinov of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Assistant Secretary General of the OIC stated.
"Our fight against corruption is essential to the achievement of Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals. We must join hands to address the underlying factors and enablers of corruption at both the national and international levels,” iterated H.E. Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Pakistan.
“In the areas of health, education, and justice, we cannot risk discriminatory access to rehabilitative services or unfair monopolisation of public resources. Corruption is a threat to fundamental human rights,” said Dr. Shireen Mazari, Minister for Human Rights of Pakistan.
“Corruption has a devasting impact on quality and accessibility of human rights and social protection services. It further debilitates efforts in achieving the SDGs and undermines the capacity and legitimacy of government and its institutions,” stated Mr. Knut Ostby, Resident Representative, UNDP Pakistan. “UNDP Pakistan is committed to supporting the rights and responsibilities of all individuals for a more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive future. We continue to work closely with governments and development partners to integrate transparency, accountability and anti-corruption measures into our governance and rule of law interventions.”
The seminar highlighted that corruption drains public resources away from education, healthcare, and effective infrastructure instrumental to improving economic performance and raising living standards for all. Thus, corruption impacts the fundamental human rights of all segments of society, especially poor, vulnerable, and marginalized segments thereby alienating them further from mainstream social protection and other essential services.
The seminar called upon the international community to translate the global focus on human rights protection and SDGs, which has been a central issue for international cooperation, into concrete, measurable actions on the ground to effectively address the issue of transnational corruption through a declaration that was adopted unanimously at the closing session.
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