Press Releases

    UNIS/CP/415
    14 June 2002

    DRAFTING OF UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION AGAINST CORRUPTION RESUMES

    Ad hoc Committee for the Negotiation of a Convention against Corruption holds
    second session in Vienna, 17-28 June

    VIENNA, 14 June (UN Information Service) – Negotiations on a United Nations Convention against Corruption will resume in Vienna next week (17-28 June). The second session of the Ad Hoc Committee is expected to finish the first reading of the draft text of the Convention.

    The President of the General Assembly, His Excellency Dr. Han Seung-soo will address the Committee on Friday 21 June.

    In its first reading of the draft convention, the Committee will examine the issues of sanctions, confiscation, international cooperation, asset recovery, technical assistance, preventing the transfer of funds of illicit origin and monitoring of the Convention. Other aspects of corruption which will be discussed include protection of ‘whistle-blowers’ and victims, compensation for damages, extradition, mutual legal assistance and bank secrecy.

    A one-day technical workshop on asset recovery will take place during the session. The workshop will work through a hypothetical case study involving the transfer of millions of dollars abroad by a former President who was forced from office. Participants will consider the difficulties of identifying the location of funds or assets of illicit origin and will look at issues relating to the return of such funds such as how to identify the beneficiaries.

    The Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP), Antonio Maria Costa, will address the opening session of the committee on Monday 17 June. Mr. Costa will express his optimism for the success of the negotiations for the convention and will welcome the wealth of proposals from Member States which indicates a strong political will for a convention against corruption. Mr. Costa will also encourage delegates to join the workshop on asset recovery which he hopes will increase understanding among Member States on all aspects of asset recovery.

    At the first session of the Ad Hoc Committee held in Vienna earlier this year (21 January – 1 February), good progress was made on the first reading of the draft convention. Issues which emerged at the first session include whether the convention will contain a standard definition of "public official", or leave it to national law, how to define corruption and whether the new convention will cover private sector corruption.

    The Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice at its eleventh session in Vienna in April welcomed the progress made by the Ad Hoc Committee and reiterated the deadline of the end of 2003. The Commission accepted the offer made by the Government of Mexico to host a High-level Political Conference for the purpose of signing the UN Convention against Corruption and invited all States to be represented at the highest possible level of government. A further four sessions of the Ad Hoc Committee are planned before the convention goes to the United Nations General Assembly for approval.

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