DUSHANBE, June 22, Asia-Plus -- Tajikistan should adopt certain measures to make the government more transparent and accountable to its citizens, press release issued by the ‘Principals’ on June 21 says.  The ‘Principals’ group ambassadors and representatives of donors, embassies and international financial institutions, which participate in regular coordination meetings with a rotating chairperson. Those represented by this joint press release include AKDN, ADB, Canada , China , EBRD, EC, France , Germany , India , Iran , Japan , Kazakhstan , OSCE, Russia , Sweden , Turkey , UK , and USA . The current chairman of the group is Fernand Pillonel, EBRD.

The government, in particular, should enforce international conventions related to corruption, such as Anti-Money Laundering agreements and International Arbitrage conventions, press release says.

Corruption has a range of negative effects on Tajikistan ’s development. Corruption inhibits economic growth, undermines the effectiveness of international assistance, weakens the population’s faith in the transition process, and exacerbates poverty.  Corruption affects all elements of society, especially the poor; it starts at schools and universities, discourages the young, and the entrepreneurs, and thus significantly hampers business activity and economic development.

The Principals have much appreciated the recent statements of President Emomali Rahmonov and other senior members of the Tajik government highlighting the extensive nature of corruption and the need to act against it more vigorously.  “The President’s stated commitment to take ‘tough measures’ to combat corruption provides a positive indication that this deep-rooted problem can be significantly reduced,” press release said.

The Principals recommend certain measures that Tajikistan could adopt to make the government more transparent and accountable to its citizens.  They, in particular, recommend that Tajikistan should introduce binding mechanisms to allow the Tajik government to implement domestic laws on combating corruption, which could supersede existing legislation.  All new laws that have an impact on business activities should be widely publicized and supported by the authorities.  On the capacity-building, specific seminars for parliament officials and judges should be conducted to allow the parliament to more effectively exercise its financial oversight functions and to encourage more transparency in the judicial system.  On the education, the Principals recommend that young people in schools and universities should be introduced to concepts of honesty, ethics and clean governance through creative and practical activities. Additional studies on corruption that cast light on the problem, raise awareness and propose concrete solutions should be developed in the administration and the business community and publicized.  On the anti-corruption monitoring, they say leading government officials and international actors should regularly assess the situation on corruption and the progress of anti-corruption measures.  These regular meetings would further demonstrate the cooperation between authorities and donors in the battle against corruption and support the authorities (Parliament, Prosecutor’s office, Ministries of Justice, Interior, Security and Presidential administration) in their own efforts.