STATEMENT OF AMBASSADOR DR. ALI REZA DEIHIM, DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL OF ASIAN-AFRICAN LEGAL
CONSULTATIVE ORGANIZATION AT THE HIGH LEVEL POLITICAL SIGNING CONFERENCE OF THE UNITED NATION
CONVENTION AGAINST CORRUPTION,
9-11 DECEMBER 2003
Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Head of States or Governments,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.
First of all, may I take this opportunity to thank the Organizers
of this Conference for inviting the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization
and giving me this opportunity to address this historic meeting, on behalf
of AALCO. May I also take this opportunity to thank
the Host Government and the people of
Corruption is a global phenomenon and needs to be fought in a global level. Since 1995 a number of Conventions and treaties, as well as a few non-binding legal instruments have been prepared and most of them reiterate the need for increased political will and enhanced efforts to fight corruption at both national and international levels. The initiative by the UN General Assembly vide its Resolution 55/61 of 4 December 2000, by establishing an Ad Hoc Committee set in motion the preparation of the UN Convention against Corruption. The UN General Assemble had mandated the Ad Hoc Committee in developing a draft convention, to adopt a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach.
The Ad Hoc Committee conducted seven hectic negotiating sessions and within 2-year time concluded the formidable task of finalizing the text of the Convention, as mandated by the United Nation General Assembly. The Ad Hoc Committee had made numerous modifications, such as insertion of `Embezzlement of property in the private sector' and deletion of `funding of political parties', `accounting standards', to mention a few, throughout the negotiating phase of the Convention. To facilitate the consideration of the background of the negotiation of the draft Convention since its first draft submitted at its first session and adoption of the final text, the AALCO Secretariat has prepared a comparative table of the modifications that have been made by the AD Hoc Committee during the various sessions.
I would like to take this opportunity to express our great appreciation to the Chairperson of the Ad Hoc Committee, the Members of the Bureau and the Secretariat of the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, whose efforts and deep involvement steered the discussions to attain this successful conclusion of preparation of the draft Convention. I also take this opportunity to commend the spirit of cooperation and understanding shown by the Member States in resolving the outstanding issues during the course of discussions in the Ad Hoc Committee.
Today will go down as a historic day in the annals of world's fight against corruption, as the UN Convention against Corruption has been opened for signature and the General Assembly has rightly declared the 9th of December as the anti-corruption day. The consensus achieved in the
General Assembly while adopting the Convention demonstrates its truly global acceptance and application. I am also encouraged to note the positive approach by most of the Delegates who spoke in this forum before me. This augurs well for the large number of signatures and speedy ratification of the Convention. The magical number of 30 ratifications is not large and I hope that the Convention will come into place very soon.
This Convention commits States parties to take a number of measures to implement the provisions of the Convention and provides a useful channel for governments to work together. Among them, Preventive Measures, Criminalization and Law Enforcement, International Cooperation and Asset Recovery are some of the practical measures which will facilitate effective implementation of the Convention.
The chapter on `Preventive Measures' provides for preventive anticorruption policies in the public and private sector, which includes Code of Conduct for Public Officials; Public Procurement and Management of Public Finances; Pubic Reporting; Judiciary and Prosecution, in the areas of public sector, and Prevention of Money Laundering in the private sector and Participation of civil society.
As regards criminalization, the Convention provides for criminalization both in public and private sectors, as well as individual responsibilities. Criminalization in public sector includes Bribery of national and foreign public officials, including officials of public international organizations; Embezzlement, misappropriation or other diversion of property; Trading in Influence; Abuse of functions; Illicit enrichment, and criminalization in the private sector includes, Bribery, Embezzlement of
property, Laundering of proceeds of crime, are among the issues dealt with at length. The inclusion of provisions concerning `law enforcement' such as Prosecution, adjudication and sanction, cooperation at the national level for law enforcement, and provision for Mutual Legal Assistance, Transfer of Criminal Proceedings, Joint Investigation, Special Investigation Techniques etc., will facilitate effective implementation of the Convention.
The biggest breakthrough under this Convention however was a chapter exclusively on `Asset Recovery' which requires parties to return assets obtained through corruption to the country from where they were stolen. This Chapter provides for Prevention and detection of transfers of proceeds of crime; Measures for direct recovery of property; Mechanisms for recovery of property through international cooperation in confiscation; and Return and disposal of assets. Furthermore, the Convention also provides an effective `mechanism for monitoring' the implementation of the obligations under the Convention.
Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization, an intergovernmental
organization comprising of 46 Member States from the Asian African region,
has been accorded Permanent Observer status with the United Nations. It has
been actively following the negotiations in the Ad Hoc Committee. At the initiative
of our Secretary-General this item has been placed on the agenda of AALCO
and we had a very fruitful discussions at the 41" (
At this juncture, I would also like to appreciate the determined
effort to bring in to force of the Convention on the Transnational Organized
Crimes, as well as, the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating
Corruption, which was adopted by Heads of State in
The immense contribution made by the Office for Drug Control
and Crime Prevention,
Thank you Mr. Chairman