STATEMENT BY GABRIEL BESZLEJ, AMBASSADOR OF POLAND TO MEXICO

 

Mr. President

Excellencies

Ladies and Gentleman

 

Let me convey on behalf of my Government the warmest congratulations to the President and to the Government of the United States of Mexico and the Government of the State of Yucatan for the organization of this High Level Conference for the purpose of signing the Convention against Corruption which confirms the active and creative role Mexico plays within the international community.

 

I would like also join the other speakers in congratulating you Mr. President for the appointment to this important function.

 

Mr. President

 

Seriousness of the problems posed by crime - in particular it organized forms - to the stability of societies and economies as well as to the rule of law was the main message in the President of Poland HE Aleksander Kwasniewski's statement before the 50th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, when he proposed to conclude a universal convention against transnational organized crime.

 

During the negotiations of this convention an organic link between organized crime and corruption was recognized. The necessity of elaborating a convention against corruption had been reiterated at the Signing Conference of the TOC in Palermo, Italy in 2000, by the present Polish Foreign Minister Mr. Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz.

 

Mr. President

 

The Ad Hoc Committee's success to elaborate the text of the Convention against Corruption in the very short time of less than two years, was the result of dedication, expertise and professionalism of

All delegations that took part in the negotiations in Vienna. But first of all, it was the sustained political will that animated the Ad Hoc Committee's work as well as the spirit of cooperation and compromise hat prevailed throughout the process that resulted with a new legal instrument of the highest quality.

 

We all owe a debt of gratitude to members of the Bureau of the Ad Hoc Committee for their strong commitment and their impressive diplomatic skills. Let me pay a special tribute to the late Chairman Mr. Ambassador Hector Charry Samper. His wise guidance should be remembered.

 

Our thanks go also to the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal, Justice as well as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for their prominent role in the process of negotiations. Poland hopes that adequate support should be given both of them as to enable the promotion of the entry into force of the Convention and taking up related activities and initiatives aimed at strengthening State's capabilities in combating corruptive practices at national and international levels.

 

Mr. President

 

The principal value of the Convention in question rests in its comprehensive and innovative nature as well as its practical, pragmatic and enforceable character. One has also to stress the novel legal arrangements on the transfer of funds of illegal origin and their restitution.

 

The Convention is also characterized by a carefully crafted equilibrium designed to reflect the reality that the corruption is a broad phenomenon, which has many faces that demands a multidisciplinary approach at both national and international levels.

 

The Convention, we believe, will benefit the entire international community and enable it to make inroads against corruption - a phenomenon that undermines institutions and values of democracy, ethical values and justice, jeopardizes sustainable development and the rule of law.

 

Mr. President

 

Fight against corruption is the responsibility of all Sates. We strongly believe, however, that in order their efforts are effective not only their cooperation with one another necessary but it has to be a joint action by all relevant also non State actors, including, in particular the civil society and independent media.

 

While actively participating in the elaboration of the Convention Poland, at the same time, has worked at regional and national levels on the adoption of appropriate arrangements to prevent, detect and deter the crime of corruption.

 

Regional activities in which Poland is currently engaged include the very valuable work carried out within the framework of the Council of Europe that resulted in the adoption of two important anti-corruption conventions. Both were signed and ratified by Poland.

 

Poland is also actively participating in the common. Council of Europe andEuropean Commissionn Programme 'OCTOPUS" whose aim is to implement internally legal regulations adopted at the European level. Furthermore, Poland plays a prominent role in a Programme of the Task Group for Combating Organized Crime in the Baltic Sea Region called "Clearing House". Its purpose is to exchange of expertise and experience in investigating corruption cases as well as sharing of best practices among law enforcement agencies.

 

On the internal plane Poland introduced last June amendments to its Penal Code aiming at enhancing the effectiveness of anticorruption efforts and strengthening the fight against this phenomenon. Another important law recently adopted relevant to the anti­corruption efforts is the law on the penal responsibility of companies and legal entities.

 

The legislative initiatives are complemented by other activities among which it is worth to mention the "Anti-corruption Strategy" a programme of combating corruption which was adopted by the Government in September 2002. The three main purposes of the programme are: effective disclosure of corruption offences, introduction of effective mechanisms of combating corruption within public administration and increasing public awareness.

 

Mr. President

Signing of the Convention, however, is only the first step. We still have a long way to go. We have to make sure that strong political will that had made t e adoption if the Convention possible is maintained and expressed in expedious ratification and its subsequent full and effective implementation.

 

Poland intends to give the ratification of this Convention a special priority that will manifest sustained commitment o prevent, fight and eventually eradicate this scourge that poisons societies and undermine the proper and effective functioning of States and its institutions.

 

Thank You