23 Oct 2012

Anti-Corruption Network in Thailand Receives UNDP Support

The Anti-Corruption Network (ACN) in Thailand, a watchdog initiated by the private sector, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have signed a partnership declaration to strengthen the emergent coalition against corruption. The purpose of the new partnership is to promote collaboration within the network, share best practices in fighting corruption, raise awareness, develop advocacy campaigns and empower the participating organisations, states UNDP.

The Anti-Corruption Network in Thailand is led by the private sector and consists of a consortium of Thai businessmen and more than 42 agencies and organisations, both public and private, including the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Thai Industries, the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and the Thai Bankers’ Association.

Since its launch last year, ACN has been very active as a watchdog group. Previously, the network has sought public support for fighting corruption by participating in the monitoring of the government speeding of approximately Bt800 billion, in the aftermath of the September 2011 floods that devastated the country’s infrastructure.  Earlier this year, they urged the prime minister to cooperate with the network in addressing the problem of corruption regarding these expenditures. “The government should […] follow our outline for closely monitoring huge government spending under flood-relief measures, as the projects could lead to big losses if there’s any corruption”, stressed ACN chairman Pramon Sutivong. ACN members also called for public support in the anti-corruption campaign “Clean Thailand DIY” for 2012.

This partnership will complement UNDP’s efforts in fighting corruption in Thailand. UNDP cooperates with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) and other public institutions as well as with the civil society and the general public. Moreover, it is actively involved in raising awareness about topics of relevance for democratic governance. In UNDP’s reporting of the partnership they call attention to the fact that corruption is a systemic problem in the country, and that a recent survey showed a great majority (63.4 per cent) of Thai people still claiming that corruption in government is acceptable as long as they also benefit from it. Even of greatest concern were data from the same survey showing that a majority of young people also increasingly shares this view. Some activities in the country have focused on addressing that problem. From June to September 2012, for instance, over 500 Thai university students have been engaged by UNDP in anti-corruption camps organised in cooperation with the College of Local Administration (COLA) at Khon Kaen University.

Yuxue Xue, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Thailand stated: “This partnership signals that every sector in Thailand is now actively engaged in fighting corruption […] and the raw energy of young people is a powerful force — one we hope will break corruption’s hold on Thailand.”

The picture featured above is from businessreportthailand.com.