India among winners of Anti-Corruption Excellence Award

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Geneva, Switzerland December 10, 2017

India was among the six winners honoured at the ‘International Anti-Corruption Excellence (ACE) Awards 2017 held in Geneva on Friday, December 8, 2017.

The Ceremony was held a day ahead of the ‘International Anti-Corruption Day’ observed yesterday – Saturday, December 9, 2017.

Special Representative of the Amir of Qatar Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, United Nations Director General in Geneva Michael Moller and the United Nations Drugs & Crime (UNODC) Executive Director Yury Fedotov presented the Awards.

The event, held at the UN Office in Geneva, acknowledged outstanding contributions towards the prevention of and the fight against corruption around the world.

The winners, from China, Indonesia, Italy, Jordan, the USA and India, were honoured for their support extended to UNODC and its anti-corruption mandates, specifically, the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).

The 2030 Agenda

Mr Moller said, “We have set ourselves a goal to transform the world within the span of a single generation through the 2030 Agenda. In the 21st century, corruption simply has no place. Today’s awards are part of our journey to create this world.”

Mr Fedotov said that like a powerful tsunami, corruption’s effect spills out into vulnerable societies, harming people and communities.

“Corruption is the great facilitator of other crimes. It enables virtually every form of transnational organised crime, from drug trafficking to human trafficking, and from migrant smuggling to wildlife and forest crime,” he said.

After a long and thorough selection process, the High-Level Award Committee with recommendation from the Assessment Advisory Board, chose six recipients across four categories, including: Anti-Corruption Lifetime / Outstanding Achievement, Anti-Corruption Innovation, Anti-Corruption Youth Creativity and Engagement, and the Anti-Corruption Academic Research and Education.

‘I Paid A Bribe’

In the ‘Anti-Corruption Innovation’ category, ‘I Paid A Bribe’ from India was recognised for their innovative online platform in reporting corruption.

The site is now the largest crowd-sourced anti-corruption platform in the world. Since its launch on August 15, 2010, ‘I Paid A Bribe’ has recorded about 15 million visits, recorded over 36,000 bribes amounting to approximately US$ 430 million from over 1000 cities and towns. It has also been implemented across Asia, Africa, Europe, South America and North America to an additional 30 countries, with three more countries in the process of launching their own ‘I Paid A Bribe’ sites.

Shared Accolades

Two shared accolades in the ‘Anti-Corruption Academic Research and Education’ category. Professor Xiumei Wang of the People’s Republic of China has played a pivotal role in creating, directing and promoting anti-corruption practices and protocols in her role both as an academic and government advocate. She was the first person in China to get a doctorate in International Criminal Law, the first to create cooperation between a Chinese university and the UN focusing on anti-corruption.

She was recognised for her strong research background and applied experience.

The second awardee in this category was Professor Thomas H Speedy Rice from the USA; he has made significant contributions to the growth of knowledge in anti-corruption through education-related work.

Professor Rice has been actively engaged in the educational efforts of the UNCAC through the UNODC Anti-Corruption Academic Initiative (ACAD) and has been a principle coordinator of global educational workshops.

Youth Creativity & Engagement

The Award for ‘Anti-Corruption Youth Creativity and Engagement’ epitomises battling corruption from its inception.

‘SPAK, I am a Woman Against Corruption’an Indonesian Anti-Corruption Movement received this Award.

Acting as a positive platform for enabling changes in perception and practices, the Movement focuses on promoting anti-corruption through a family-based approach, training more than 1300 agents to strengthen and raise public awareness.

At the centre of outreach of SPAK are nine core values; honesty, fairness, cooperation, independence, discipline, responsibility, persistence, courage, and caring. These are translated into various forms of tools, including games, that help SPAK Agents share their knowledge to drive change in an easy and fun way.

Lifetime Achievement

There were two winners in the ‘Anti-Corruption Lifetime Achievement’ Category.

Among them were Professor Gherardo Colombo (from Italy) and Professor Muhyieddeen Touq (from Jordan).

Professor Gherardo Colombo was recognised for his dedication and contributions to anti-corruption for more than forty years.

He has advocated anti-corruption from his role as a Magistrate opposing corruption and white collars crimes, then as an educator for young people, teaching to respect the law and rules, to protecting the rights and the dignity of the people, and helping to instilling personal responsibility.

Professor Muhyieddeen Touq has devoted his professional career to politics, diplomacy and governance matters. His legacy will be remembered for his role in chairing the Ad-Hoc Committee for the negotiation of UNCAC that led to its ratification by 183 countries. The UNCAC is the only comprehensive globally binding anti-corruption convention and its robust review of implementation mechanism now covers all State Parties to the Convention. The UNCAC implementation is a benchmark to governments’ commitment to fight corruption across the world.

UNODC Regional Special Advocate for the Prevention of Corruption Dr Ali Bin Fetais Al Marri, said: “Switzerland is one of the key countries that supports human rights, cares about humanitarian issues and fights racism. This is why, we have chosen Geneva to host this year’s ceremony.”

The Commemorative Sculpture

A commemorative five-meter sculpture by Ahmed Al Bahrani, a contemporary Iraqi artist and sculptor, was unveiled at the Place des Nations in front of the UNOG, serving as a bold visual statement against the battle against corruption.

Delivering the same strong message as the inaugural Award in Vienna last year, the steel composition of a raised hand signifies the international communities’ efforts to combat corruption and the unwavering strength and resolve of those presently engaged in this fight. The interlinked lines represent a globalised world, united in the fight against corruption and the see-through construction, denotes the importance of transparency. The small triangles that intertwine throughout the statue also represent each the countries around the world and how by coming together, we can make positive change.

The International ACE Award was established by ‘The Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Center’ Doha.

The Award was open to submissions from all the world by third party entities to nominate any organisation, group or person of any nationality, demonstrating significant commitment and contributions toward the prevention and control of corruption.

The evaluation process was initiated by a call for nominations, which were then submitted through an on-line nomination process.

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Photo Caption:

  1. Rajith Shaji and Nageswara Rao Samayam (‘I Paid A Bribe’) at the Awards Ceremony
  2. Individual and Institutional Winners of the ‘International Anti-Corruption Excellence (ACE) Awards 2017

(Photos and Caption supplied)

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