19 December 2023 – Tashkent – The Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani International Anti-Corruption Excellence Award, an annual event organized under the patronage of His Highness the Amir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani by the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Center of Qatar in support of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), today announced nine individuals or organizations as winners in the award’s five categories.
This event marks the 7th iteration of this award, following ceremonies in Vienna, Geneva, Kuala Lumpur, Kigali, Tunis, and Doha. Since 2016, the Award has celebrated the work of 51 winners from 39 countries, with 14 from Africa, 14 from Europe, 8 from the Americas, 7 from Asia, 5 from the Middle East region, and 3 from Oceania. Of the winners since 2016, 17 have been entities, 12 have been women, and 22 have been men.
This year, the International Anti-Corruption Excellence Award ceremony was held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. To commemorate the Award, His Highness the Amir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Representatives from UNODC and a number of visiting dignitaries unveiled a 12m statue outside the Tashkent City Congress Hall immediately prior to the ceremony. At the statue unveiling ceremony, His Highness the Amir of Qatar presented a certificate of appreciation to His Excellency Shavkat Mirziyoyev, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, in recognition of his commitment, and the commitment of the people of Uzbekistan, to the fight against corruption.
The winners of each category were awarded with a certificate and trophy in a ceremony attended by His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar, His Excellency Shavkat Mirziyoyev, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, alongside representatives from UNODC, distinguished ministers, members of the diplomatic corps, and visiting dignitaries. Over 1,200 people were in attendance during the ceremony held at Tashkent City Congress Hall.
On the margins of the Award ceremony was the First Meeting of the International Anti-Corruption Excellence Award Winners Network and the accompanying Integrity Champions Forum, held over two days with 6 high-level sessions.
This year’s event was delivered with the support of the Anti-Corruption Agency of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The International Anti-Corruption Excellence Award is given to recipients according to five distinct categories, which are: Lifetime or Outstanding Achievement, Academic Research and Education, Youth Creativity and Engagement, Innovation / Investigative Journalism, and Safeguarding Sports from Corruption. Recognized in the 2023 International Anti-Corruption Excellence Award ceremony were:
- Mr Jose Ugaz (Peru) – Lifetime or Outstanding Achievement
- Dr Jon S.T. Quah (Singapore) – Academic Research and Education
- Dr Sunčana Roksandić (Croatia) – Academic Research and Education
- All 4 Integrity (Portugal) – Youth Creativity and Engagement
- Ms Damaris Aswa (Kenya) – Youth Creativity and Engagement
- Ms Clare Rewcastle-Brown (UK) – Innovation / Investigative Journalism
- Mr Phil Mason (UK) – Innovation / Investigative Journalism
- Mr Waihiga Mwaura (Kenya) – Safeguarding Sports from Corruption
- Mr Shantanu Guha Ray (India) – Safeguarding Sports from Corruption.
Lifetime or Outstanding Achievement
Mr. Jose Ugaz is a Peruvian criminal defense attorney who has served as ad-hoc State Attorney of Peru in several corruption cases, most notably the Fujimori-Montesinos case in 2000, one of the biggest corruption cases in Latin American history. In 14 months, Ugaz’s office opened more than 200 separate cases against 1500 members of then-President Fujimori’s crime network. As a result of these actions, all the leaders of this criminal organization were convicted, including Fujimori and the former head of the country’s intelligence services, Vladimiro Montesinos. During his time as State Attorney of Peru, $205mn in assets were frozen abroad, and $75mn of stolen funds was successfully recovered.
In 2002, he became President of PROETICA, Transparency International’s chapter in Peru, and later held positions on the boards of Transparency International and its chapters in Brazil and Ukraine. In 2011, he was elected chair of the International Board of Transparency International for the 2014.2017 period. Mr. Ugaz has also served as a member of the UN Peacekeeping Mission and the UN Election Observer Mission for El Salvador, and from 2004-2006, served at the World Bank’s Institutional Integrity Office, the World Bank’s anti-corruption unit.
Mr. Ugaz is an international speaker and author of several books about corruption and has been nominated as an eminent practitioner by international lawyer rankings.
Academic Research and Education
Dr Jon S.T. Quah has been working in the field of anti-corruption since 1977. Before his retirement, he was Professor of Political Science at the National University of Singapore, focusing on corruption and governance in Asian countries. He is the author of 120 publications related to the fight against corruption, the most well-known of which is his 2013 publication: Curbing Corruption in Asian countries: An Impossible Dream? His recommendations for an effective approach to anti-corruption call for a single completely independent anti-corruption agency and the cultivation of political will to fight corruption. This two-pronged approach is taught extensively across the world.
Dr Quah has been a consultant to the UN, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Macau Government, and the World Bank, among others.
Dr Sunčana Roksandić is an associate professor and Chief of the Department of Criminal Law, Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb. Her research and teaching focuses on the study of organized corruption on national, transnational and international level, and she introduced the Economic Criminal Law and Transitional Justice course within her faculty. She is the winner of the annual award of the Society of University Teachers and Scientists of the University of Zagreb for the best young scientist in the field of social sciences, and recipient of the 2023 Acknowledgment of Appreciation of the Center for Forensic Examinations, Research and Expertise for her exceptional contribution to scientific cooperation aimed at combating crime in Croatia.
Dr Roksandic is a president of the Council for implementation of the Code of conduct of highest government officials in Croatia and a member of the GONG Council, an NGO focused on enhancing democratic processes and institutions. She is also a member of the International Chamber of Commerce Croatia – Special working group on anti-corruption.
Youth Creativity and Engagement
All 4 Integrity, an anti-corruption organization based in Portugal, is the creator of the first ever Anti-Corruption Literacy in Schools program, RED Escolas, for grades 7 to 12. This program, which started in Portugal, has been offered in Ireland, France, Brazil, China, Angola and Mozambique, and will soon be implemented in the US, Chile, and Argentina. To date, the RED Escolas programme has reached 8,900 students and 278 teachers in 126 schools. The success of this programme has led the Portuguese ministry of education and the National Anti-Corruption Authority of Portugal to invite All 4 Integrity to join several taskforces to help advance a culture of integrity in the country.
Alongside the REDEscolas programme, All 4 Integrity also organizes and delivers the Prémio Tágides, an anti-corruption award open to the Portuguese diaspora globally under the High Patronage of the President of Portugal, and the Tech4Integrity Initiative which promotes the mobilization of tech and data firms on issues of open data, transparency dashboards and advanced anti-corruption Artificial Intelligence tools. Their latest initiative, The Academy, is a network of scholars and professionals from around the country who customize hands-on anti-corruption and transparency trainings for the private sector to promote a culture of organizational integrity.
Ms Damaris Aswa is the founder of Youth 4 Integrity Building, an NGO that aims to bring young people together to amplify their voice against corruption. Through this organization, Ms Aswa empowers individuals and communities with the necessary tools to uphold integrity, democracy, and social justice at a local level. Ms Aswa is also a founding member and advisory committee member of Democracy Moves, a global movement for democracy led by young people with 250 active members. Furthermore, she currently serves as an Anti-Corruption Syndicate at Voice1 Africa. She has directly provided training on integrity issues for over 100 teachers, 500 integrity club members, and 1000 students in secondary schools across Kenya, and has developed an integrity handbook and student anti-corruption guidebook. She has also developed an anti-corruption app, IntegrityLink, which was released in 2023.
Innovation / Investigative Journalism
Ms Clare Rewcastle-Brown is one of the primary investigators who uncovered the 1MDB scandal in Malaysia. The evidence she uncovered and publicized led to a number of high-profile prosecutions, including those of former prime minister Najib Razak and his accomplices. She is the founder of the Sarawak Report, an investigative website cataloguing and publicising corruption cases both in Malaysia and globally. Alongside her work related to 1MDB, her other exposés have focused on the questionable links between politics and business in the UK, and the influence of wealthy individuals on political decision-making. Her current investigative series, London Laundromat, highlights the issue of money laundering through the financial system in London.
Ms Rewcastle-Brown’s work has been recognized by Fortune Magazine, in which she was listed in 2016 as one of the World’s 50 Most Influential Figures, while in 2018 she received the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ Guardian Award for International Fraud Reporting.
Mr Phil Mason was a UK Civil Servant for 35 years, where he spearheaded the anti-corruption work of the Department for International Development. He was one of the first anti-corruption experts to highlight the importance of anti-corruption measures not only in the country receiving international aid, but also in the country or organization delivering this aid. Under his guidance, the Department for Overseas Development established aid-funded UK law enforcement units to investigate and recover stolen assets in the UK originating from developing countries, as well as to pursue bribery by British companies in developing countries.
He was part of the negotiating team of UNCAC where he proposed the structure and content of the provisions on prevention, and he also headed the Department for International Development’s overseas territory department as well as the anti-corruption team. He was awarded an OBE in 2015 for services to the UK’s international anti-corruption policy.
Safeguarding Sports from Corruption
Mr Waihiga Mwaura began his career as an investigative reporter in the sports arena, after which he moved to investigations related to public service and governance. He is the recipient of the 2021 Media Council Investigative Journalism award, the 2018 BBC Komla Dumor award, and the 2015 Mo Amin Award. In 2021, his investigative work contributed to the conviction of a Kenyan Sports Minister for corruption and mismanagement within his ministry.
His journalistic endeavours have uncovered a series of wrongdoings, including doping scandals, irregular athlete nationality transfers and misappropriation of sports funding by Kenyan officials during the Rio Olympics, where he also declined a substantial illegal payment. Additionally, he uncovered a corruption scandal amounting to 190 million Kenyan Shillings at a prominent Kenyan University in 2019. More recently he has dedicated his efforts to exposing the trafficking of African workers by unscrupulous agents to other countries.
Mr Shantanu Guha Ray is an Indian investigative journalist whose work has resulted some of India’s most public exposés. He uncovered and publicised massive corruption in the Indian Cricket Board related to spot fixing and match fixing in domestic and international cricket. He also wrote a book on this topic, Fixed: Cash and Corruption in Cricket.
Alongside investigations into sports corruption, Mr Guha Ray’s other work has uncovered corruption in other fields, such as the mislabeling and export of blood diamonds from the mines of Angola and Botswana to diamond dealers in India. He also uncovered a programme of systematic corruption in the allocation of coal extraction contracts orchestrated by members of an Indian political party, which resulted in misappropriated government funds estimated at USD $10 billion.
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