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UN anti-crime agency helps Afghanistan combat corruption

UN anti-crime agency helps Afghanistan combat corruption

The United Nations anti-crime agency is helping to bolster the justice system in Afghanistan, where reconstruction and development are hampered by corruption and poor governance.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is helping the Afghan Attorney General’s office create and implement a code of ethics and professional standards for prosecutors.

It is also advising the Government on reforming anti-corruption legislation to be in line with the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), ratified by Afghanistan in 2008.

Launched last August, the code of ethics was developed in an Afghan-led process over three years and finalized with the help of UNODC and the United States State Department. Consultations across the country with prosecutors also contributed to the final draft.

The code integrates international standards with Afghan legal and cultural norms, including obligations to uphold human rights as well as the rights of those accused of committing crimes.

Dozens of its articles specifically to prosecutors and set standards for their performance, and they include an internal disciplinary mechanism for investigations, adjudications and appeals of complaints lodged against prosecutors by other legal professionals and the public.

UNODC voiced hope that the code will enhance professionalism and integrity in the Attorney General’s office and is one of many steps to ensure the highest integrity in all prosecutors to boost public trust in investigations and prosecutions.

The agency will continue to support the office’s training for prosecutors in all provinces and to bolster accountability and integrity.