The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, John F. Sopko has said the war in Afghanistan will not end if corruption is not fought and this phenomenon should not be a second priority.
Spoko was addressing the fourth Annual Anti-Corruption Conference of European Union (EU) in Kabul on Tuesday.
The conference was also attended by President Ashraf Ghani, EU Ambassador Pierre Mayaudon, participants from official institutions, the international community, civil society, private sector, students, and media.
Addressing the conference, President Ghani accepted the existence of corruption in governmental institutions, but once again committed to seriously fight against it.
“Citizens asked where did the billions of dollars went? And one answer is to the contractors. We need a fundamental shift now that we have done our first significant installment of reform. The Afghan private sector is ready,” President said.
Ghani emphasized that Afghanistan’s internal revenues will have to reach $ 8 billion by 2024 and the business balance must be changed.
He considered the only option for the improvement of Afghanistan is to reduce corruption.
President noted the corruption cases of two former cabinet ministers have been finalized and submitted to a special court for prosecution.
“The chief justice has just shared with me that files of two cabinet ministers from the past have just been submitted to the special court. According to the constitutions they will set in judgment,” Ghani added.
After President’s speech, the European Union’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Pierre Mayaudon, also addressed the conference and said while the scourge of corruption is a worldwide phenomenon, its impact on human dignity and economic development is much more acutely felt in Afghanistan.
“The most vulnerable in society, already suffering more than others from the never-ending climate of violence and harsh economic conditions, are worst hit by the effects of corruption. Corruption is a stab in the back of the front line soldier who doesn’t receive his food, fuel or ammunition because it has been pilfered along the supply chain,” Mayaudon said.
The fourth EU Annual Anti-Corruption Conference was followed by a three-panel discussion to address the impact of corruption on development, the private sector and elections and the possible solutions and commitments to further improve the fight against corruption in Afghanistan.