Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,


Firstly, on behalf of Brunei Darussalam I would like to express our appreciation to the Governor of Yucatan and the people of Merida for organizing this auspicious gathering. I also would like to congratulate the Government of Mexico and the United Nations Office in Vienna for the excellent work in the preparation and conduct of this conference.


Mr. President,


We have long believed that corruption is a vicious plague that can destroy governments and societies. It undermines rule of law, violates human rights, deprive free market opportunities, and breeds organized crimes and violence. No country is free of corruption. Brunei Darussalam had since 1982 passed the enabling Anti-Corruption Legislation to fight and contain this scourge.


Over the years of our experience in fighting corruption, we have witnessed vast improvements in technology, increasing liberal movement of people and assets across the globe. This global phenomenon has transformed our world into a small global village, but with harder problems and challenges. Cross-border and international corruption had become more sophisticated and harder to prevent. Enforcement effort to bring the wrongdoers to justice has become more complex than ever before. We have reached a stage where corruption is no longer confined within our territorial or regional jurisdictions and boundaries. Given the new and complex phenomena of this crime we believe the fight against corruption needs a united and coordinated effort of the international community.


Mr. President,


Brunei Darussalam welcomes this new landmark treaty with great optimism. We have now an international instrument to address this crime. The adoption of the first United Nations Convention Against Corruption, affirms the commitment of the international community in the determination to prevent and control corruption in whatever means and forms. It reaffirms the universal core values of good and clean governance, respect for the rule of law, honesty and accountability of holders of public office. It sends a powerful universal warning that betrayal of public trust and abuse of public office is no longer tolerable.

One of the most encouraging achievements of the Convention is the breakthrough for the adoption of provisions of International Cooperation, Mutual Legal Assistance for the purpose of Enforcement of Confiscation Orders, Recovery and the Return of Assets to their countries of origin. The provisions adopted set the legal framework for a greater and wider cooperation between states to recover assets lost through corruption. With these new fundamental principles on International Cooperation for Enforcement and Assets Recovery, it is hoped that embezzled and illicit assets will have no place to hide in our world. We believe, this Convention will provide a big step forward for member states to afford one another the legal mechanism, and the political will to work together to return illicit assets to the rightful owner.


Mr. President,


In line with the Anti-Money Laundering provision of the Convention, Brunei Darussalam has in place an Anti Money Laundering Order which has strict provisions to prevent transfer of illicit funds through its financial and banking institutions. Moreover, our Government had set up a National Anti Money Laundering Committee with the objective to formulate the best possible method to monitor and apprehend criminals of money laundering.


Mr. President,


It needs to be said that this new Convention is a remarkable achievement of the international community. It does not only introduces a new set of comprehensive standards, measures and rules which all countries can apply to strengthen their national law in the criminalization and prevention of corruption at the national level, but more importantly, the international community has now reach an unprecedented era in which it not only afford one another the political will to combat corruption and the laundering of its proceed, but to pave the way for its return to the bona fide owner.


This conference marks a great day for the United Nation. We have over the last two years gone through a long and difficult negotiation to achieve this Convention. We join hands with all other nations to take this opportunity to congratulate the members of the Bureau of the Ad Hoc Committee for their endless hard work and leadership to complete this important Convention.


Thank you.