Dev partners urge Nepal to speed up anti-graft efforts

KATHMANDU: International development partners in Nepal on Wednesday urged the government to accelerate its anti-corruption efforts.

Issuing a press statement on the occasion of the International Anti-Corruption Day, the organisations said Nepal has some serious threats regarding corruption and illicit financial flows though the nation made significant strides towards aligning its agenda to international corruption-reduction standards.

"With the global adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015, there is a new momentum for Nepal to recognise that reducing corruption is a key to reaching its development targets," the statement read, "Through an adaptive SDG agenda, Nepal can substantially reduce corruption in all its forms."

"We look forward to engaging with the Government of Nepal as well as with the civil society and other relevant stakeholders for addressing the gaps highlighted by the review."

Meanwhile, the donor agencies remarked that both the political transition for more than a debate and effects of the April 25 earthquake set back some achievements of anti-corruption campaign in Nepal.

"Nepal possesses extensive and detailed institutional and legal arrangements for combating corruption," the statement further said, "A challenge is transformation of laws into real enforcement effort on the ground."

The newly promulgated Constitution and the flow of foreign aid in reconstruction, however, offer opportunities to promote transparency, accountability and integrity at all levels of government, they added.

Signatories of the statement - UN Country Team in Nepal, Royal Norwegian Embassy, Embassy of Germany, EU Delegation in Nepal, Embassy of Switzerland, the Embassy of the UK and DFID, JICA Nepal Office, Asian Development Bank Nepal, Embassy of Finland, World Bank – also expressed a commitment to continue supporting the government, the private sector and the civil society to promote integrity, transparency and accountability.