High Level Tunisian Delegation Completes Official Visit to Beirut in Preparation for the Transfer of ACINET Chairmanship

 

Beirut, 4 September 2014 - A high-level delegation from the Republic of Tunisia completed an official visit to Beirut, from 1 to 3 September 2014, upon the invitation of H.E. the Minister of Justice Major General Ashraf Rifi, Chair of the "Arab Anti-Corruption and Integrity Network" (ACINET) and with the support of UNDP’s "Regional Project on Anti-Corruption and Integrity in the Arab Countries". The visit came in the framework of preparations for the transfer of ACINET’s Chairmanship from the Republic of Lebanon represented by the Minister of Justice, to the Republic of Tunisia, represented by the Minister of State in charge of Governance and Public Function.

H.E the Minister of State Mr. Anouar Ben Khelifa headed the Tunisian delegation and was accompanied by the heads of the High Authority for Administrative and Financial Control, the Commission of General Control of Public Departments at the Prime Ministry and the Court of Accounts; in addition to a representative of the Tunisian Anti-Corruption Commission and a Director within the mentioned Ministry of State. The delegation first visited the Prime Minister, H.E. Tammam Salam, who underlined Lebanon’s commitment to ACINET and invited participants to fully support its work.

The delegation then met with the head of the Administration and Justice Committee and a number of its members and members of “Lebanese Parliamentarians against Corruption” where they discussed updates relating to anti-corruption legislative work in both countries and means to strengthen this work through bilateral and multilateral cooperation. During the second day, the delegation met with heads of oversight agencies in Lebanon (the Public Service Council, Court of Accounts, Central Inspection and the Higher Committee for Discipline) and analyzed the similarities and differences in the two oversight systems and exchanged views on ways to strengthen these systems within the framework of ACINET. 

The delegation also met with the Minister of State for Administrative Reform where an agreement was reached to establish bilateral cooperation on e-government; the ethics of public function and on administrative simplification with a view to limiting corruption risks. During the meeting with the Governor of the Central Bank and subsequently with the Secretary of the Special Investigation Committee, cooperation avenues were explored, namely with regards to asset recovery. The Tunisian delegation praised Lebanon’s cooperation in this field considering it as exemplary for all other countries in the world.

The visit concluded with a working session with H.E. the Minister of Justice and his team as well as members of ACINET’s “Regional Support Unit”. During this session, participants discussed the Network’s work progress in 2013 and 2014 and developed initial priorities of work for the next phase, while preparing for the Network’s 5th Conference which is expected to take place in Tunisia before the end of the year.