The recent signature of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) by many of the Initiative’s members has created the need for certain legal and institutional adjustments in preparation of the instrument’s ratification. As the UN Convention and the Anti-Corruption Action Plan for Asia-Pacific have important similarities in terms of involved actors, thematic coverage and means to achieve their common goal to eliminate corruption, the two instruments have great potential for synergy. Taking advantage of this synergy, the seminar addressed obligations resulting for Asian and Pacific countries from the ratification of the UN-Convention against Corruption, discussed selected mandatory provisions of the UN Convention which are of high priority in the Asian and Pacific countries’ efforts against corruption, and explored how the ADB/OECD Initiative can assist endorsing countries in this reform process.
The seminar was conducted on 14-17 February 2005 in cooperation with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and hosted by the National Accountability Bureau of Pakistan. This site is dedicated to provide background information on the Seminar.
Agenda and participants
The seminar’s introductory session provided participants with an overview of the UNCAC and the Action Plan and its implementation mechanism; it further sought to qualify the different types of obligations – mandatory and non-mandatory – and means of implementation at national level as foreseen by the UNCAC, e.g. policy definition, amendment and enactment of laws, action at executive level, and regional and international co-operation. In doing so, it explored the role and potential of the ADB/OECD Initiative to support countries in their efforts to translate the UNCAC into their domestic legal and institutional frameworks. In particular in light of the need in most countries to adopt and amend legislation to prepare the UNCAC’s ratification, the Action Plan’s implementation mechanisms can provide a practical and feasible system to support these efforts in the Initiative’s member countries.
Following this overview, the seminar addressed in detail selected issues that are of particular importance to Asian and Pacific countries to advance their anti-corruption agenda in compliance with the UNCAC and the Action Plan, and where the UNCAC prescribes clear mandatory standards. The selected themes cover a range of issues with regards to corruption prevention, criminalization and enforcement, as these constitute three fundamental aspects of an effective fight against corruption. A review of the relevant provisions allowed participants to understand the commitment which their countries take by signing and ratifying the UNCAC; practical work and case studies on these topics are expected to assist them in assessing the consequences of this commitment on their country’s individual anti-corruption reform strategy and in identifying concrete actions that need to be taken prior to ratification.
Theme 1: Codes of conduct for public servants
Mr. Charles A. Caruso; Regional Anti-Corruption Advisor, American Bar Association Asia Law Program
Theme 2: Management of public finances
Ms. Catherine Volz, Chief, Treaty and Legal Affairs Branch, UNODC
Theme 3: Designing and enforcing accounting and auditing standards for the private sector
Ms. Kathleen Moktan; Principal Financial Management Specialist, Governance and Regional Co-operation Division, ADB
Definition and enforcement of international accounting standards
Mr. Asad Ali Shah, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan
Accounting, auditing and governance framework for the private sector in Pakistan
Prosecution of corruption
Theme 4: Bribery of national and foreign public officials
Mr. Martin Polaine, Senior Crown Prosecutor, seconded to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, UK:
Criminalizing bribery of national and foreign public officials
Mr. Frédéric Wehrlé; OECD Anti-Corruption Division
Theme 5: Laundering of proceeds of corruption
Mr. David Shannon, Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering
Regional approaches to implementation of the global anti-money laundering standards
Mr. Muhammad Kamran Shehzad, Director, Banking Policy Department, State Bank of Pakistan: Laundering of proceeds of corruption
Ms. Janet Grace Maki, Solicitor-General, Cook Islands
Theme 6: Seizure, confiscation and asset recovery
Dr. Faqir Hussain, Secretary, Law & Justice Commission of Pakistan:
Seizure, confiscation and asset recovery
Ms. Kimberly Prost, Head, Criminal Law Section, Legal and Constitutional Affairs Division, Commonwealth Secretariat
Asset recovery under the UN Convention against Corruption