World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

UN Launches Tool To Recover Stolen Assets

UN Convention Against Corruption, A Tool To Recover Stolen Assets, Takes Effect

The United Nations Convention against Corruption, a major obstacle to development in poor countries, came into force today, providing the first legally binding global instrument for the return of assets illicitly acquired by dishonest officials, as well as preventive steps to detect plundering of national wealth as it occurs.

“Time and time again, countries' assets have been looted by corrupt leaders, while in the corporate world, many shareholders have been robbed by corrupt managers,” said Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which is the custodian of the Convention.

“This Convention demonstrates that Governments are no longer prepared to tolerate a destructive practice which is as old as history and as wide as the globe. It gives nations the legal tools they need to transform their economies,” he added.

The Convention, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in October 2003, signed by 140 countries and ratified by 38, rests on four pillars: prevention and criminalization of corruption, international cooperation and asset recovery.

“The tough new provisions on asset recovery represent a major breakthrough,” Mr. Costa said. “The fact that nowhere in the world will be exempt from the obligation to return looted assets, and that old excuses such as banking secrecy will no longer be an impediment, will be of major assistance in preventing corruption.”

Under the treaty, States are required to return money and other assets obtained through corruption to the country from which they were stolen. “This sends a warning to corrupt officials everywhere that they can no longer expect to enjoy the fruits of their crimes by moving stolen assets abroad. It is also a message of hope to millions of people who have grown angry and frustrated at seeing their country's wealth plundered by criminals,” he added.

The 90-day countdown for today’s entry into force was started at the UN World Summit on 15 September when Ecuador provided the required 30th ratification. Mr. Costa appealed to all Member States to ratify the Convention.

“This new instrument must be only the beginning of our redoubled efforts to prevent and control corruption. We must all make sure that the momentum that made its negotiation and entry into force possible is not allowed to dissipate,” he declared.

Implementation, which rests firmly in the hands of governments, would be a word devoid of meaning if the Convention did not become the global standard that it was intended to be, he said.

UNODC has been assisting countries in developing anti-corruption strategies, implementing prevention measures and establishing the institutions they need to fight corruption effectively.

To mark the entry into force, a panel discussion on combating corruption will be held at UN Headquarters in New York tomorrow, with the participation of Mr. Costa, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari and Under-Secretary-General at the UN Office for Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) Inga-Britt Ahlenius.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Ramzy Baroud: Year in Review Will 2018 Usher in a New Palestinian Strategy

2017 will be remembered as the year that the so-called ‘peace process’, at least in its American formulation, has ended. And with its demise, a political framework that has served as the foundation for US foreign policy in the Middle East has also collapsed. More>>

ALSO:


North Korea: NZ Denounces Missile Test

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has denounced North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test. The test, which took place this morning, is North Korea’s third test flight of an inter-continental ballistic missile. More>>

ALSO:

Campbell On: the US demonising of Iran

Satan may not exist, but the Evil One has always been a handy tool for priests and politicians alike.

Currently, Iran is the latest bogey conjured up by Washington to (a) justify its foreign policy interventions and (b) distract attention from its foreign policy failures.

Once upon a time, the Soviet Union was the nightmare threat for the entire Cold War era – and since then the US has cast the Taliban, al Qaeda, and Islamic State in the same demonic role. Iran is now the latest example…More


Catalan Independence:
Pro-independence parties appear to have a narrow majority. More>>