KABUL – The Independent Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee has published a report about the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan that lacks the accepted investigative and research standards and is prepared with bias and subjectivity. An investigative institution needs to consider the minimum professional standards and norms in releasing such reports and act with full responsibility, but unfortunately in this report, the principles of impartiality and objectivity have not been observed at all.
Considering the requirements of diplomatic tasks, the ministries of foreign affairs in most countries of the world use distinctive mechanisms in their recruitment and while acquiring their manpower. Therefore, the actions undertaken at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been transparent, in line with the reforms, and in accordance with the Law on Diplomatic and Consular Employees as well as the universally accepted models.
With the establishment of the National Unity Government and the initiation of the human resources reforms at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Human Resources Information System was developed in a manner responsive to the existing conditions. In its recruitment practices, implementing reform programs, and anti-corruption efforts, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is way ahead than other institutions and has acted in accordance with its commitments with regards to the following:
- All the existing legislations including the Law on Diplomatic and Consular Employees, have been implemented as necessary.
- The High Audit Office and the Internal Audit Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, monitor and audit the enforcement of the relevant laws and anti-corruption efforts at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on annual basis.
- Although based on the law, there is no requirement to hold a Concor (entrance exam) for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, since 2009, five rounds of entrance exams have been held in collaboration and cooperation with the Independent Administrative Reforms and Civil Service Commission, the National Assembly, representatives of the Administrative Office of the President and representatives of the Faculty of Law and Political Science of Kabul University, as a result of which qualified and talented young individuals have been appointed at the Ministry. In the last two years too, all the recruitments at the Foreign Ministry have been on the basis of transparent Concor exam.
- After 2015, there have been optimum efforts to prevent inference in the process of staff appointments within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and appointments in foreign missions.
- Staff members recruited at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2015 onwards, all have bachelors, masters and PhD level education. Staff members with only high school education, who were recruited in the past, were recently separated from their jobs.
- As one of the experienced and credible specialized entities in the country, the Institute of Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs trains not only the diplomats of the Ministry, but also employees of other institutions in the area of diplomacy and international relations on annual basis.
- One of the criteria for appointment in a foreign mission is being able to speak one of the international languages required by the Ministry and holding the certificate of the Politics-Diplomacy Course, which is a high-level long-term training program at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- The work on drafting the amendment of the Law on Diplomatic and Consular Employees have already been started.
In consideration of the explanations given above, whatever is mentioned under the title of “recommendations” in the MEC report, are already implemented or currently being enforced at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
This report also recommends that employees who have been recruited without due consideration of the recruitment procedures should be referred to prosecution, this demonstrates that the developers of the report were unaware of the laws of Afghanistan. Because, in accordance with the law, an action can only be subject to prosecution if it is considered an offence in the law before the commission of the act.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs deems this report as baseless and firmly rejects it because of its reliance on incorrect information, ignoring the reforms already implemented at the ministry, presenting repetitive and irrelevant recommendations, influence of grudge and personal tendencies of its developers, and being subjective and politically motivated against the ministry. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is committed to implement fundamental and objective reforms in its domain and continues its operations in this spirit.