Saudi Arabia Joins World Body For Prosecuting Corruption Safe Havens 


By Hebshi Alshammari

Saudi Arabia has been elected recently by the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) as an active member of the academy’s Board of Trustees for three years.

The election is a recognition of the Kingdom’s efforts in protecting financial integrity and fighting corruption, the SPA reported.

It also reflects the Saudi government’s cooperation with international bodies and organizations, including the Riyadh Initiative, which was announced during Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20 in 2020. 

Dr. Shakir Al-Saleh, director general for enhancing integrity at the Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha), is set to represent the Kingdom at the IACA’s Board of Trustees.

Al-Saleh, who is also supervising the Integrity Center for Training at Nazaha, told Arab News: “The Kingdom’s attainment of this position for the first time since the establishment of the International Anti-Corruption Academy in 2011 is an appreciation from the international community for the tireless efforts made by the state in combating all cross-border corruption crimes.”

The academy’s inaugural conference, “From Vision to Reality,” took place in Vienna, Austria with the participation of over 1,000 delegates from UN member states, international organizations, NGOs, the private sector, civil society and academia. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was the guest of honor. 

Al-Saleh expressed hope that the election of Saudi Arabia to the board will contribute to developing and improving the role of the International Anti-Corruption Academy, “for all countries, especially developing ones, in a manner that serves to enhance international cooperation in corruption cases and limits safe havens for the corrupt.”

Al-Saleh said that the COVID-19 pandemic “constituted a major challenge for the academy, which led to the failure to provide some of its activities and programs as required. In addition to the challenges related to the financial resources of the academy.”

He stressed that Saudi Arabia and the rest of the members of the academy intend to “provide appropriate solutions that ensure the sustainability of its work and its advancement,” adding that they will aim “to be of support to all countries in providing their specialized training and academic needs in topics related to combating corruption.”

The director general said: “We can say that the first decade of the academy’s life was a stage of establishment, and several academic and training programs were launched in it, the most prominent of which are three master’s programs specialized in corruption topics.”

He pointed out that IACA aspires to spend the second decade of its life focused on strengthening its bonds of cooperation with the international community. By working more closely with various countries, he said that the academy could better understand their relevant needs to combat corruption and provide solutions and specialized programs to meet their requirements.

“We also aspire to have knowledge transfer to Arab countries by offering the academy’s programs in Arabic,” he concluded.

Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz. Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

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