6.1: Corruption and reform initiatives in the security sector in the Arab Region

Jamileh Jalal Abed, Omnia Nabil Hussein, Gaelle Kibranian, Salah Alghazali, Azmi Shuaibi, 13th IACC, Workshop report, Governance, Human Security



Number and title of the workshop:

 6.1: Corruption and reform initiatives in the security sector in the Arab Region

Date and time of the workshop:

November 2nd 2008, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Moderator (name and institution):

Jamileh  Jalal Abed, AMAN (Transparency Palestine)

Rapporteur (name and institution)

Omnia Nabil Hussein (TIS)

Panellists (names and institutions, title):

Dr. Azmi Shuaibi: AMAN’s Commissioner for combating corruption, AMAN (Transparency Palestine)

Ms. Gaelle Kibranian, Programme Mangager, Lebanese Transparency Association (LTA)

Mr. Salah Alghazali : Board chair person , Al-Shafafeyah (Kuwait Transparency Society)

Main issues covered

Presentation of corruption and reform in the security sector in Kuwait, Palestine and Lebanon:

Mr. Salah Alghazali concentrated on analysing transparency and accountability within the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior. TI Kuwait had made a study that has demonstrated that the MoI was well resourced (finances, human resources). However, the MoI needs to strengthen its integrity through a variety of reforms such as: developing a hotline and protection laws for whistleblowers, putting in place declaration of assets for staff of the Ministry, and revising the Code of Conduct.

Ms. Gaelle Kibranian, emphasized on the historical and political formation of the State in Lebanon.  In addition to this, the influence of international actors in her country and the inability of the State to perform core functions to its citizen have contributed to the emergence of non State actors. To tackle corruption in the security sector, she has suggested a series of reforms including multi stakeholders’ dialogue, anti corruption legislative reform and implementation of the UNCAC that has been recently ratified.

Dr. Azmi Shuaibi explained that the security sector is playing a negative role in the area of democracy, anti-corruption reforms, and development efforts in the Arab Region. Emergency laws in general disrespect the fundamental rights and freedom of the people as well as the rule of law and institutions, namely traditional monitoring agencies that utilize regional conflict issues for their own interest. The security sector has multiply to a variety of groups and sections that are not ensuring the security of the country and its citizens but protecting the ruling regimes.


The role of civil society organizations in reducing corruption in the security sector

  • Engage in dialogue with the state on necessary reforms, especially with parliamentarians
  • Raise the awareness of the civil society about corruption in the security sector
  • Encourage and empower citizens to ask for reforms

The role of the legislative, executive and judicial powers in enhancing accountability in the security sector

  • There is a need for a strict separation of powers and the development of accountability systems
  • Access to information and whistleblower protection laws should be developed and enforced
  • The actions undertaken by the legislative, executive and judicial powers should be monitored by civil society organizations and the media

Main outcomes

  1. Key challenges preventing transparency in the security sector have been identified and shared with participants.
  2. The understanding of the role played by corruption in the security sector in the Arab Region has been increased.
  3. Efforts and Best Practices to enhance accountability in the security sector have been shared.
  4. New partners have been identified and encouraged to join efforts to monitor and to develop advocacy activities to combat corruption in the security sector in the Arab Region.

Main outputs

  1. To put the Corruption in the security sector in the anti corruption agenda
  2. Inventory of “best practice” examples of frameworks allowing for independent monitoring of the security sector
  3. Develop a concept paper to form the basis of a regional advocacy and action plan to combat corruption in the security sector

Recommendations, Follow up actions

  1. Develop a reform strategy built on dialogue among Parliamentarian, Political elites and Citizens
  2. Security laws and policies shall be taken into account in the broader framework of legislative reforms including electoral law reform, anti corruption law and UNCAC.
  3. Security forces shall be accountable to the political authority and shall not interfere in political, economic and social affairs.

Workshop highlights (including interesting quotes)

  1. The security forces (State and non state) are a hindrance to the National Integrity System
  2. Security forces are Public Institutions and therefore must respect all transparent procedures, reporting, monitoring, and code of ethics and avoid conflict of interest in accordance with the national laws.

Dr. Azmi Al Shuaibi:

Reform in the security sector is part of a holistic approach to political reform in the Arab world.

Salah Alghazali: Not all reform can be done by civil society organizations. We should be more innovative in tackling this risky issue and use intermediate actors such as parliamentarians and the media.

Yazid Sayegh: In many Arab countries security agencies participate actively in a variety of illegal business interactions. In light of the absence of effective governance, participation in illegal commercial endeavours increases insecurity among the people on the political, economic, and social levels

pdf6.1: Corruption and reform initiatives in the security sector in the Arab Region

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