STATEMENT BY

Dr. DOMINGOS MARIA SARMENTOS

MINISTER OF JUSTICE

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF TIMOR-LESTE

On the Occasion of the High-Level Political Conference for Signature the

Purpose of Signing the United Nations Convention against Corruption

Merida, Mexico

 

Excellencies,

Mr.Chairman,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

On behalf of the government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, I am pleased to extend our congratulations on the successful conclusion of the United Nations Convention on Corruption. This new Treaty, will guarantee transparency for the people of the world making a real difference by enhancing safeness, quality of life and the implementation of the principles of democracy, transparency and good governance for all citizens of the State members of the United Nations.

 

As all of you are aware, the free and independent Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste is a new born country. We are the newest Democracy of this new millennium being members of United Nations just since last year.

 

Nevertheless, our government wants to honor this fact by signing and ratifying all the United Nations Treaties. We are convinced that Democracy, Peace and Development only can be achieved under the umbrella of Human Rights and the Rule of Law but above all, on the most complete and perfect Transparency. As we all know, corruption is internationally recognized as one of the major problems in world-wide societies, one capable of endangering their stability and security, threatening social, economic and political development and undermining the values of democracy and good governance.

 

I am here today sharing the signature of this Treaty, which will enhance cooperation between governments and help standardize the way in which individual countries deal with corruption in their national legislation. But also to inform to all of you that the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste is already working in our measures to fight against corruption which must be established

urgently by creating anti-corruption policies and anti-corruption legislation. Consequently, and in order to accomplish both goals we will be devising a special methodology which is being designed taking into account the following suggestions:

 

1. It has to comprise the inventory of measures for assessing the nature and extent of corruption, if any in Timor-Leste.

 

2. It would have to establish the proceedings for deterring, preventing and combating corruption.

 

3. It would have to establish the ways and means for integrating the information and experience gained from victorious international anti-corruption strategies into successful national ones.

 

It is important to let you know that the main principles of the Convention such as the needed norms of conduct for public officials, greater transparency based on public access to information on government businesses, and stricter procurement regulations and measures against money laundering; will be incorporated in our national and domestic law.

 

In this light and being clear regarding the fact that Corruption is the natural enemy of the rule of law (particularly destructive to society when it is installed within the institutions mandated to enforce and safeguard the rule of law) is that on our draft proposal, particular relevance is given to dispositions related to special proceedings for investigate and punishment illicit enrichment, bribery and embezzlement. Confiscation of assets obtained through corruption. Directives for registering and declare public servants' income and assets. Several dispositions on the liabilities of persons who perform public functions in certain posts have been established in accordance to the National Constitution. Guarantees of immunity and protection from retaliation for the source of information have been proposed. Regulatory mechanisms creating oversight independent bodies, encouraging participation of civil society and non-governmental organizations, guaranteeing access to justice, obtaining information, meeting the purposes of preventing, detecting, punishing, and eradicating acts of public corruption.

 

The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste through its Ministry of Justice is strengthening the cooperation, assistance and support from the international community in order to integrating all the information and experience gained from victorious international anti-corruption strategies. We have decided that transparency should be the cornerstone of our national programmed and a priority of the Timorese Government.

 

Finally, I extend my gratitude to the United Nations, the Government of Mexico, and to the Municipal and people of Merida for the hosting this momentous event.

 

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for your attention and continuous support.