By Faten Omar
KUWAIT: The Kuwait Association for the Protecting Public Funds, in cooperation with Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha), held on Sunday a symposium and a workshop entitled “Investigation and Follow-up for the Recovery of Stolen Public Funds”. In his opening remarks, Nazaha’s Vice-President, Counselor Nawaf Al-Muhmel, stressed the need to achieve community awareness and help in reporting corruption cases. “There are still many procedural challenges related to strengthening the practical aspects of recovering funds stolen in corruption crimes, which require the follow-up and national action of putting Chapter Five of the UN Convention against Corruption into effect,” he added. Muhmel further affirmed that societal awareness is an indispensable mechanism, adding that governmental institutions and the people of Kuwait must work firmly together to tackle corruption.
Fahad Al-Nasser, Treasurer of Kuwait Association for the Protecting Public Funds, said meanwhile that Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority always cooperates with civil society institutions in the implementation of the 2006 United Nations convention against corruption, stressing the need for civil society to do their social responsibilities and cooperate to restore stolen funds and assistance in reporting corruption cases. He called for benefiting from international experiences and applying them in the country, noting that Kuwait must take in mind the Malaysian and Swiss experiences, and benefit from their experience in order to get better recommendations to be applied.
Nasser pointed out that the Fatwa and Legislation Department played a major role in recovering the looted funds in coordination with local and international authorities, starting from the case of the embezzlement of Kuwaiti investments in Spain in the 1990s to the case of the former general manager the Public Institution for Social Security Fahd Al-Rajaan. He noted that the administration formed a legal team to work on protecting the state’s treasury, adding that the administration strives to develop its employees by providing them with the opportunity to participate in conferences, seminars and workshops, and apply protocols of cooperation with civil society institutions.
In the meantime, Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Kuwait Nasreen Rabiean stressed that corruption is of one the most important issue that touch all societies and their comprehensive and sustainable development, noting that protecting public money is a shared responsibility. She indicated that the United Nations, through its competent bodies, organizations, and international conventions, has serious international efforts in this field to combat corruption in all its forms and protect public funds. “Addressing corruption is necessary to protect human rights and promote democratic accountability,” she noted.