09 December 2020 - The 5 th Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani International Anti-Corruption Excellence Award, an annual event organized by the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Center of Qatar in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and supported this year by the Presidency of the Republic of Tunisia and the National Anti-Corruption Commission of Tunisia, announced seven individuals and organizations from around the world as winners.
The International Anti-Corruption Excellence awards were held this year in Tunis, Tunisia, the first time these awards have been hosted in an Arab country. This is following similar events held in Vienna, Geneva, Kuala Lumpur and Kigali since 2016. Each previous event has been delivered in partnership with host governments, with a statue commemorating the award constructed in each
city to uphold the spirit of the awards into the future. This year His Excellency Dr Ali Bin Fetais Al Marri, United Nations Special Advocate for the Prevention of Corruption and His Excellency Judge Imad Boukhreis, Head of the National Anti-Corruption Commission of Tunisia, unveiled a 12m tall version of the statue outside the Palais des Congrès in Tunis immediately prior to the ceremony.
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the winners of each category were awarded in-absentia, and appeared during the event via videolink. Further, His Excellency Mr Kais Saied, President of the Republic of Tunisia, as well as His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, Her Excellency Ms. Ghada Waly, Executive Director of UNODC, and His Excellency Mr. Alexander Zouev, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions spoke at the event via video message, while H.E. Dr Hatem Ali, Regional Representative of UNODC for GCC countries, His Excellency Dr Ali Bin Fetais Al Marri and His Excellency Judge Imad Boukhreis delivered their messages in-person.
Recognized during the International Anti-Corruption Excellence awards were the Perdana Leadership Foundation (Malaysia) in the Lifetime or Outstanding Achievement category, Dr. Adam Graycar (Australia) and Dr. Michael Levi (United Kingdom) in the Academic Research and Education category, ONG Tolotsoa (Madagascar) and the Center for the Study of Democracy (Bulgaria) in the category of Youth Creativity and Engagement, and Mr. Riad Kobaissi (Lebanon) and Instituto Observatório Político e Socioambiental (Brazil) in the category of Innovation.
The Perdana Leadership Foundation is a foundation established to preserve, research and disseminate information on the past Prime Ministers of Malaysia. The foundation’s main aim is to increase awareness of Malaysia’s intellectual heritage based on its belief that past leadership can provide important resources and insights for future development and to initiate greater understanding and co-operation through research and idea-sharing, while inspiring a positive change in the values of individuals and organizations throughout the world One of the achievements of the Perdana Foundation is the Perdana International Anti-Corruption Champions Fund, an initiative developed to assist honest public servants and their families across the world who have been the victims of corruption.
The fund, inaugurated by Tun Dr Mahathir Bin Mohamad, has assisted a number of individuals who have been targeted by corrupt individuals and criminal organizations because of their dedication to carrying out their roles with integrity and honesty.
Dr. Adam Graycar, a recipient for his contributions to the field of corruption studies within the category of Academic Research and Education, is the author of over 250 corruption-related scholarly publications. Alongside this, he is an editor of a number of prestigious academic journals, has two doctorates from the University of New South Wales, and is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. He also works closely with international agencies such as the United Nations and the World Bank and teaches specialist courses on corruption-related issues in leading universities in Asia, Europe, and North America.
His latest book, ‘Understanding and Preventing Corruption’, is a guide to the issues of public and private sector corruption, outlining the nature and dimensions of corruption problems and providing a set of practical strategies to prevent corruption and encourage growth.
Dr. Michael Levi has degrees from Oxford, Cambridge, Southampton and Cardiff Universities and has been Professor of Criminology at Cardiff University since 1991. He has been conducting international research on the control of fraud and organized crime, corruption and money laundering, and the financing of terrorism since 1972, and has conducted a wide range of studies on these, publishing widely on these subjects as well as editing major journals.
In addition to his academic post, he is a Senior Research Fellow at the Rand Europe and an Associate Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute. His pioneering research has led to his election to the Academy of Social Sciences and a Fellowship of the Learned Society of Wales, and he is actively involved in global public policy involving business and crime. He is the current president of the United States National White-Collar Crime Research Consortium and has also recently collaborated with the IMF on the process of money laundering evaluation.
ONG Tolotsoa is an NGO from Madagascar, created in 2010, whose work focuses on the development, improvement, and promotion of democracy through the civic engagement of young people and students. The organization brings together volunteer students spread over seven towns in Madagascar. These young people carry out voluntary civic activities aimed at consolidating democracy and contributing to the development of Madagascar, and their work has quickly become one of the main levers of social and economic development in Madagascar. Through the activities of ONG Tolotsoa, young people can become aware of the importance of their contribution in the development of their country.
ONG Tolotsoa are also responsible for the creation of the anti-corruption educational board game iTsyCoolKoly. The game makes players aware of the different forms of corruption that exist in Madagascar, and the different penalties incurred by those who participate in corrupt activities. Additionally, because the game confronts players with real-world examples, it also encourages players to act with integrity in their everyday lives.
The Center for the Study of Democracy was founded in 1989 as a public policy institute that promotes the reform process in Europe through impact on policy and civil society. The organization’s mission is to build bridges between scholars and policymakers, and it does so by engaging scholars to publish research related to countering corruption, good governance, crime and security, and civil society development.
Originally a think-tank, the Center for the Study of Democracy has evolved into a policy development organization focused on increasing transparency in Bulgaria and the wider European region. CSD has pioneered advancements in several areas traditionally perceived in Bulgaria as untouchable, such as anti-corruption institutional reform and national security. The effect of this is a new culture of cooperation and trust, in what has historically been an environment of fragmentation and opacity.
Mr. Riad Kobaissi, has been a media figure for over a decade in Lebanon. Long before Lebanese journalists embraced the culture of investigative journalism, Mr. Kobaissi was a pioneer in this field, who reshaped the media sphere in the region with his research and television reports about corruption in Lebanese administrations. His work lifting the cover on corruption and holding government figures to account in Lebanon has inspired young men and women in various fields, in particular journalism students, to fight for transparency and integrity in their country.
He does this by presenting state of the art, research-based content on television, exposing layers of corruption that have for years been hidden in various public institutions. His use of innovative journalistic methods have empowered a generation of Lebanese citizens to stand against oligarchs, politicians, security heads, and high-ranking officers, and to demand truth from their leaders and public servants.
Instituto Observatório Político e Socioambiental, created in 2018 in Brazil, assists civil society in the inspection of public spending, and empowers the people, groups, and organizations that are fighting for institutional reforms and public awareness. The institute uses innovative technology solutions to improve the monitoring of investigation processes, to establish detection networks, and to create partnerships between non-governmental organizations, universities, public authorities and other entities. The OPS Institute works to instill the belief in Brazilian citizens that being an active participant in social control is fundamental for Brazil to flourish and develop.
One way in which the institute uses innovative technology is through the ops.net.br inspection website which provides data in an accessible way to the public, along with guidance on how to use it. This access has empowered citizens to understand how public resources are used in the Brazilian National Congress, and also the ability to report irregularities. Additionally, OPS uses its voice through its New Voter Project, which uses technology to bring political awareness to the country's children and adolescents, teaching them the importance of choosing political candidates “with a magnifying glass”.