Inauguration of the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Center in Geneva

Geneva, May 03 – Attorney General and UN Special Advocate for the Prevention of Corruption, HE Dr. Ali bin Fetais Al Marri, has inaugurated the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Center (ROLACC) , which was established in partnership with the United Nations.

The new center is the third regional center to be opened after the Doha ROLACC launched in December 2011 at the initiative of the State of Qatar, in partnership with the United Nations and the Dakar Center in the Senegalese capital, which opened last year.

On the occasion of the inauguration of the Geneva Center, a ceremony was held in the presence of a number of personalities, including Dr. Mohamed Moncef Marzouki, former Tunisian President, a representative of Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, representatives of Michael Muller, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva along with a number of heads of diplomatic missions accredited to Geneva and directors of Geneva-based international organizations.

The Geneva ROLACC will be an important platform in Europe to share experiences, provide training opportunities and conduct research on anti-corruption and rule of law issues.

Thanks to its privileged position in Geneva, which hosts a significant number of international organizations and institutions, the new ROLACC will work on strategic partnerships with various institutions interested in Anti-Corruption and The Rule of Law issues.

In opening remarks at the inauguration of the new Center, HE Dr. Ali bin Fetais Al Marri, said this step is very important and comes after the great success achieved by ROLACC in the State of Qatar, which was able to be a regional hub for training and hosting conferences and forums on fighting Corruption and the Rule of Law.

Over the past years since the establishment of the Doha ROLACC, a significant change in the field of awareness on the areas of combating corruption and the rule of law in the region has been achieved thanks to the efforts being exerted by the Center through hosting training courses and events as well as establishing important partnerships, HE Al Marri said.

The new regional center is another beacon that would serve the fight against corruption and the rule of law issues, HE Al Marri said, noting that the center is supported by UN agencies working in this field, such as the United Nations Office at Geneva.

The Center will support Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption’ initiatives in other countries and provide permanent frameworks for the exchange of experiences and expertise through strategic partnerships with the relevant United Nations bodies, in particular the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) responsible for the promotion of cooperation with the world’s leading research and training centers, he added.

Through its Geneva Office, ROLACC will build specialized knowledge and raise individual and institutional competencies that will strengthen the Rule of Law and combat corruption in line with international standards and meet national needs.

The Center will also provide permanent frameworks for the exchange of expertise and experiences through the establishment of strategic partnerships with relevant United Nations offices and agencies, in particular the UNODC, as well as the world’s leading research and studies centers, HE Al Marri added.

The new center also provides and facilitates the education and training of the legal and technical framework to combat corruption for all specialists and practitioners in all sectors at the national, regional and international levels, especially anti-corruption bodies, the Attorney General went on saying.

Dr. Al Marri stressed that the opening of the Geneva Center is also part of his mission as the UN Special Advocate for the Prevention of Corruption for fight against corruption and within the United Nations Convention against Corruption as the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument, especially that corruption is no longer an internal matter, but rather a “global phenomenon” which requires a global response.

In this context, Dr. Al Marri praised Qatar’s hosting for the first regional Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Center thanks to the great support it received under the wise leadership of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

He also underscored Qatar’s great achievements in the fight against corruption, placing it among the advanced countries in terms of fighting corruption and Rule of Law as a consequence of HH the Emir’s continuous support for all anti-corruption issues at both local and international levels, referring in this regard to the UN Initiative launched from Doha aimed at combating corruption and targeting the educational sector at all levels to inculcate the values of fighting corruption within educational programs for future generations.

For his part, Dr. Mohamed Moncef Marzouki, former Tunisian President and member of the Council of Trustees of ROLACC, said that the new center in Switzerland is another tool of war against corruption and is expected to play a major role in this regard.

Dr. Marzouki said in a speech at the opening ceremony that revolutions in some Arab countries, especially in Tunisia, were mainly against corruption, stressing that the high price they are paying today such as the wars in Yemen and Syria is the consequences of corruption.

Corruption, he said, is capable of penetrating democracy and corrupting it. Corrupt money and corrupt political parties strike at heart of democracy and transform it to an empty formality, he added.

Corruption and tyranny are inseparable, Dr Marzouki explained, calling for the inclusion of corruption as a crime against humanity.