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UNDP and Executive Magazine partner to advance dialogue on addressing corruption in Lebanon

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Beirut, 20 August 2020 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Executive Magazine, Lebanon’s premier economic, financial, and business magazine, are today announcing a new partnership to support national dialogue on efforts to fight corruption in Lebanon through evidence-based analysis and actionable recommendations. The fight against corruption is a top national priority amid efforts to help Lebanon address its current economic crisis and accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“This partnership comes at a very
important moment. The devastating explosion at the Port of Beirut on August 4
has underlined the urgency to address transparency and accountability, now more
than ever,” said Celine Moyroud, the UNDP resident representative in Lebanon.
“Curbing corruption is of central importance to the response and recovery
efforts. But beyond that, it is a cornerstone for broader governance reforms
required in response to the country’s deepening economic and financial crisis.”

The first fruit of this
partnership is a special report on anti-corruption in the July/August issue of
Executive Magazine, published in PDF format online yesterday. Through a series
of articles by national and international experts and activists, the special
report discusses key anti-corruption themes that have been at the center of the
national debate, echoed in the social protests of October 17, 2019. The report
addresses asset recovery, access to information, specialized anti-corruption
courts, and the National Anti-Corruption Strategy that was developed in a
participatory manner and officially adopted on May 12, 2020.

“This special report provides a
focused platform for raising public awareness and encouraging thematic debates
on national anti-corruption priorities,” explained Yasser Akkaoui, editor-in-chief
of Executive Magazine.  “We hope that the
articles in this report, coupled with the expert roundtables and webinars that
we will convene with UNDP very soon, will inform actionable recommendations to
be included in the Economic Roadmap for Lebanon that we at Executive have been
advancing since December 2018.”

In September, UNDP and Executive
Magazine will convene a series of expert roundtables—or webinars in the current
COVID-19 induced social distancing environment—with distinguished specialists
to build on the issues discussed in the first special report and explore other
pertinent thematic priorities, starting with transparency and accountability in
international assistance. The outcomes of the roundtable series will guide the
development of a second special report that is slated for publication in
October 2020.

The new partnership comes as part
of UNDP’s commitment to advance the implementation of Lebanon’s first-ever
National Anti-Corruption Strategy to meet the calls for transparency and accountability
that have been loudly reverberating in the Lebanese streets since the fourth
quarter of last year.

In the aftermath of the Beirut Port explosion, UNDP prioritizes parallel action to ensure transparency and accountability in the first stage response, as it focuses its immediate support on restoring livelihoods and small businesses, debris management, and access to justice for impacted vulnerable groups, closely complementing urgent relief efforts provided by sister UN agencies.

The PDF version of the report is available below.

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