(9 December 2019)
I wish to extend my sincere good wishes on behalf of the Union of Myanmar to all of you who have come to celebrate the International Anti-Corruption Day and the 16th Anniversary of the UN Convention against Corruption which falls on 9th December.
I am very happy and honored that Myanmar has been able to celebrate the International Anti-Corruption Day with pomp and ceremony like other signatories of the UN Convention in the world community. This year we are able to celebrate on a far grander scale compared to previous years all over the country in the states and regions including the Nay Pyi Taw Council territory. This has given me greater encouragement and satisfaction.
Our Union Government has been marching forward on the path of reform and reconstruction, in accordance with people-centered principles, for the emergence of a sustainable, modern, developed, peaceful and stable Democratic Federal Union by working for national reconciliation, the peace process and the economic policies of the State.
Our Government understands that the problem of corruption which has taken root and been thriving for many years is a major obstacle; that is why we have been making strenuous efforts continuously with strong political fervor to create a society free from corruption.
Myanmar ratified the UN Convention against Corruption in 2012 and enacted the Anti-Corruption Law in 2013. The Anti-Corruption Commission was established in 2014. For fighting corruption more effectively the commission was reorganized in 2017. The 2018 Anti-Corruption Law was amended for the fourth time to combat corruption as a national duty, to establish a clean government with a good administrative system, for a higher sense of integrity and willingness to take responsibility in government departments, to eliminate loss of government property and funds, and to ensure that the rights of citizens are not harmed. Now that the legal system has become stronger, the Anti-Corruption Commission has been able to work with strenuous efforts with more freedom in wider areas to reduce incidents of accepting/giving bribes and also to reduce the loss of government funds and destruction of government property.
The Anti-Corruption campaign is being carried out in three programs. These are education, prevention and investigation and punishment. As part of the education program, distribution of brochures to promote straight forwardness and integrity in Basic Education schools, and opening of youth camps at the university level for straight forwardness and integrity have been carried out. To promote responsibility and accountability in government departments and economic enterprises, workshops are being held in all states and regions. As part of the program for prevention, Corruption Prevention Units (CPUs) have been formed in government departments; as for private sector economic enterprises, they are being instructed to write and abide by Code of Conduct to eliminate corruption. This method can bring benefits to the State in the long run as loop holes for corruption can be eliminated.
Among the international conventions, the UN Convention against Corruption is among the conventions that had received ratification at the quickest pace; at present of the 186 member countries almost all have given ratification thus achieving the status of Universal Ratification; thus we can say that the whole world supports the campaign to combat corruption. Apart from efforts made by individual countries, by the collective efforts of many countries we will be able to combat transnational corruption and crimes.
By combatting corruption with heart and soul, we may encourage the emergence of a culture of rule of law rather than a corruption free culture. Furthermore, as we will be promoting the emergence of institutions built on the principles of responsibility and accountability, everyone will be able to enjoy their rights and live a healthy and happy life.
Out of the 17 goals of the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals, goal number 16 has described clearly the importance of combatting corruption. In this regard, countries need to work for promotion of inclusive and peaceful societies, work for access to justice, establishment of institutions where all levels practice responsibility and accountability, reduction of illegal flows of money, strengthening of systems to get back state owned properties, reduction of bribery and corruption, establishing institutions which practice responsibility and accountability and are effective, inclusive and transparent. This is how we need to move forward.
The Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan, 2018 – 2030, has been linked to the global Sustainable Development Goals, to enable us to implement our national development programmes. Therefore, I wish to urge everyone to cooperate with us in combatting corruption so that we could work towards the achievement of good governance and improvement of decision making capabilities of organizations at all levels; this is what has been outlined under pillar (1) of the MSDP under the strategy for peace and stability.
On this auspicious day as we celebrate the 16th Anniversary of the UN Convention against Corruption and the International Anti-Corruption Day, I wish to reaffirm our country’s commitment and pledges to the aims and basic principles of the Convention. Therefore, I send this Message of Greetings to all persons working in the executive, legislative and judicial branches, responsible officials, government service personnel, private sector organizations, civil society organizations, news and media people, and all citizens to work in unity to continue combatting corruption, in accordance with the slogan “Let us all stand united against corruption”. This is my solemn request to you all.