On Wednesday, 15 September 2021, the President of the Republic of Iraq, Barham Salih met with Arab League Secretary –General Ahmed Abul Gheit, a number of justice ministers, heads of judicial councils, representatives of Arab organizations, legal and academic figures participating in “the international conference for the recovery of looted funds” which is being hold in Baghdad.
The Iraqi President welcomed guests for attending the international conference for the recovery of looted funds. Iraq is heading towards recovery, and its presence in the region is a matter of critical importance to the states of the region.
Unfortunately, Iraq for so many years couldn’t play its role in the region due to the wars and conflicts of others, and the lack of Iraq’s role in the region has negatively affected the Arab States and the region as a whole, and it is, therefore, recovering of Iraq and bringing back its power is the recovering of all the region and bringing back its power as well, he said.
The President emphasized how important the international conference for the recovery of looted funds would be for Iraq. The biggest problem facing Iraq and many of our nations as well is the issue of the corruption that is an impediment to any nation’s economic and social development as it is the political economy of the violence and terrorism, he underscored. The Islamic State known as IS and other terrorist insurgent groups rely heavily on smuggled money to finance its terror groups, he added.
Additionally, he said that the Presidency of the Republic presented the draft from of the “Corrupt Funds Recovery Act” that includes practical measures to deter corruption, as well as methods to recover already stolen funds. It will provide the necessary tools to Iraq’s legal system and relevant institutions to proactively combat the theft of the people’s wealth. It would seek to recover these funds through the cooperation of other governments, and in partnership with international bodies, he said, while advantage should be taken of the global expertise to curb the phenomenon of corruption.
Moreover, corruption doesn’t stop at sect, nationalism or at any border, and it is therefore, our country has faced the enormous challenges of violence and terrorism, both of which are deeply intertwined with the phenomenon of corruption, smuggling and illicit trade, he emphasized, so the fight against terrorism and extremism and laying the foundations of stability can’t be realizing without effectively confront these threats through tackling the corruption in the same way that we address the terror.
The States of the World are also called upon to give priority to the issue of the corruption and tracing of the illicit wealth as they dealt with the terrorists’ file, the President highlighted, while noting that the collapse of the government in Afghanistan was due to the rampant corruption that hit Afghan governance system, and caused in the loss of its legitimacy.
However, it is vital to be there further agreements and efforts at Arab, regional and international levels in order to curb this serious scourge, he underlined, while expressing hope that Baghdad international conference for the recovery of looted funds would produce practical results and effective, legal proceedings, and Iraq’s success in this endeavor will have a positive impact on the region as the whole.