On the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day and the 15th Anniversary of the UN Anti-Corruption Convention, I send this Message of Greetings and good wishes on behalf of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
For protection against corruption and combatting corruption regarding the role of the UN Anti-Corruption Convention, in order to raise awareness, 9th December has been designated as the International Anti-Corruption Day and events have been organized annually, all over the world, to mark this day.
Myanmar signed the Convention on 2005 to become a member and ratified it in 2012. In 2013 the Anti-Corruption Act was enacted and in accordance with this law the Anti-Corruption Commission was established in 2014. Since then the task of combatting corruption was carried out as a national duty. During the tenure of the People’s Government, with the aim of bringing forth a clean government with a system of good governance, the Anti-Corruption Act was amended to meet international standards. The Commission has been given additional duties and powers to combat corruption and protect against corruption with full force and momentum. At the same time, it has been permitted to conduct investigations, take action and initiate legal proceedings.
When I took the oath of office as President of the Union on 30th March 2018, I said “we need to take more forceful action to combat corruption”. Furthermore, in my speech to the Union on the first day of the Myanmar New Year (ME 1380), with regard to combatting corruption, I pointed out that corruption has become deeply embedded like an accepted custom in most departments; and in taking more forceful actions to combat corruption, there was a need to undertake a reassessment to ensure that there was proper balance between rights and benefits and duties of public service personnel. This was to be done by each individual department by taking responsibility. In addition to the Anti-Corruption Commission, the media and the people need to seek out and report truthfully.
It is also very important to make reports on cases where people with positions and power become involved by trying to intervene and interfere. These cases should be reported with full facts and supporting evidence. I have also urged that in combatting corruption with increased momentum, the Anti-Corruption Commission should work harder than before by formulating plans. When I met the Anti-Corruption Commission on 11 April 2018, with regard to the duties of the Commission, I underscored the need for the Commission to take effective and clear-cut actions in accordance with the law regardless of name, position or social strata.
In order for the people to realize that corruption is a despicable erosion of moral character and to also realize and understand the evil effects of corruption, we have encouraged stepped-up efforts for educating and mobilizing the people by conducting numerous workshops to make them realize that corruption is a dangerous disease which has taken deep roots in Myanmar society. We have permitted the conduct of workshops with the theme “Let’s take responsibility to increase efforts to combat corruption” attended by representatives from government departments, entrepreneurs, and CSO – Civil Society Organizations. I have also given permission for the setting up of CPU’s – Corruption Prevention Units.
We are also taking necessary actions to raise our status in the World Bank index for good management in combatting corruption. This is being done by reducing the loss of public funds through transparency, responsibility and accountability. Furthermore, with regard to corruption which has been rampant among public sector organizations like a well-entrenched system, action is being taken to reduce the incidents of corruption significantly. In addition, the Union Government will take effective administrative steps to rectify the weak areas so that the index for assessment of combatting corruption will improve.
The Union Government has been working to improve sectors such as administrative, legislative, judiciary, political affairs, and economic affairs during our transition to democracy. As we make our efforts to build a modern and developed country, we understand and realize that corruption is a major obstacle.
Corruption can harm our economic development, the living standard of our people, poverty reduction, and the smooth flow of foreign investments. That is why we have made a solemn vow to combat corruption with determination and zeal and with very strong political will.
Our Union Government has been working strenuously to combat corruption as a national duty; we are working also for the emergence of a clean government with good governance; for more transparency, responsibility and accountability; to prevent the wastage or loss of public funds; to protect the public interest; to raise the knowledge level and character of the people; to take effective action against corruption; and for the emergence of a society free from corruption. As we intensify our efforts to combat corruption and protect our society from the dangers of corruption, we need the collective strength of government organizations, non-governmental organizations, CSO’s – civil society organizations, the media and the people. Our Union Government has urged this point already.
On this auspicious occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day and the 15th Anniversary of the UN Anti-Corruption Convention, I wish to reaffirm the solemn pledge made by the Republic of the Union of Myanmar with regard to the aims and principles of the said convention. Furthermore, I send this Message of Greetings by expressing our solemn desire to work hand in hand and cooperate with other member countries as expressed in the United Nations motto “Let’s Unite to Combat Corruption”.