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PRESS RELEASES

 
Date: 21-Sep-2017  
Title: Pakistan is committed to eradicate corruption in all its forms and manifestations: Minister

Islamabad, September 21, 2017: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Country Office Pakistan jointly organized a launching ceremony of the Country Review Report in compliance with the implementation Review Mechanism of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) was held at a local hotel.

Federal Minister for Law & Justice, Mr. Zahid Hamid was the chief guest whereas Mr. Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, Chairman NAB, Mr. Imtiaz Tajwar, Deputy Chairman NAB, Mr. Arshad Mirza, Secretary Interior, Mr. Cesar Guedes Country Representative UNODC in Pakistan were present at the occasion.

Federal Minister for Law & Justice, Mr. Zahid Hamid while addressing as chief guest said that on this very landmark event of launching of Country Review Report of Pakistan under the first cycle of United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), I congratulate NAB and other national stakeholders on successfully fulfilling this international obligation under UNCAC. He said that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is focal agency for UNCAC. He said that UNCAC is the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument which is promoted by the UN office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). He said that the UNCAC covers five main areas i.e. Preventive measures; criminalization and law enforcement; international cooperation; asset recovery; and technical assistance & information exchange.

Federal Minister for law and Justice said that Pakistan undergone its first review cycle of Chapters III and IV of UNCAC and was reviewed by Norway and the Solomon Islands. As a result, the Country Review Report in compliance with the Implementation Review Mechanism of UNCAC has been completed, which is endorsed and approved by the Government of Pakistan. The Report highlights the progress of the Government of Pakistan and NAB in countering corruption and presents a set of recommendations and priorities in view of enhancing the institutional and operational framework and the capacity of the relevant institutions in Pakistan. The Executive Summary of Pakistan’s Country Review Report is published on the Country Profile page of Pakistan on UNODC’s website. He said that the basic essence of this exercise of Country Review is to improve the legislation of States Parties to the convention for combating corruption and devise a mechanism for efficient and effective accountability, in addition to promote and review its implementation.

He said that NAB being designated Central Authority of Pakistan under UNCAC was the lead agency during this review Process, whereas other national stakeholders which remained actively engaged with the review process were Ministry of Law & Justice, Ministry of Interior, State Bank of Pakistan, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), FIA, Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) and 4x Provincial Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACEs). I appreciate the efforts rendered by NAB, UNODC and other stakeholders for making all out efforts in drafting, finalizing and ratifying the Country Review Report. He also said that the objective of the launch event is to present the recommendations resulting from the country review process to the national and international community’s highlighting what has been achieved and what needs to be improved in cooperation with all the stakeholders.

He said that Pakistan is committed to United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in eradicating corruption in all its manifestations by implementing its articles through an intensive approach of Awareness, Prevention and Enforcement. It is also evident from the fact that in Corruption Perception Index (CPI) of Transparency International the ranking of Pakistan has significantly improved in last few years from 127/175 in year 2013 to 116/176 in year 2016. He said let us pray that God bestows us the strength to eradicate all evils from our society including the menace of corruption. Let us have a corruption free society. May God help and guide us to the right path.

Mr. Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, Chairman NAB in his address said that NAB on behalf of Pakistan has fulfilled its obligation under United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and completed its Country Review Process under first cycle, which involved review of all anti-corruption laws, procedures and mechanisms existing in Pakistan. He said that that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and UNODC Country Office Pakistan has jointly organized this launching event. I congratulate all the national stakeholders for their sincere and all out efforts in this regard. The UNCAC is the first universally binding instrument on anti-corruption which functions under the umbrella of UN office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). There are currently 182 States Parties which have ratified the UNCAC. Pakistan signed UNCAC on 9th December 2003 and ratified the convention on 31st August 2007. He said that the UNCAC covers five main areas i.e. Preventive measures; Criminalization and law enforcement; international cooperation; asset recovery; and technical assistance & information exchange. He said that the event marks the extensive efforts of the Government of Pakistan and NAB in finalizing the first cycle of the country review in compliance with the UNCAC. The first cycle focused on two Chapters of the Convention, namely, Chapter III on “Criminalization and Law Enforcement” and Chapter IV on “International Cooperation”.

He said that the Country Review of Pakistan under first cycle was carried out by Norway and the Solomon Islands. As a result, the Country Review Report in compliance with the Implementation Review Mechanism of UNCAC has been completed. The Country Review Report (CRR) and Executive Summary (ES) give fair picture of the existing criminal justice system dealing with the subjects under review pertaining to “criminalization & law enforcement” and “International Cooperation”. Successes and good practices have been highlighted while reflecting the short comings and gaps. He said that the technical assistance needs as identified by Pakistan have been also incorporated by the reviewers in the report for the effective implementation of the Convention. Hence, overall this report can be termed a balanced report. He said that NAB being designated Central Authority of Pakistan under UNCAC was the lead agency during this review Process, whereas other national stakeholders which remained actively engaged with the review process were Ministry of Law & Justice, Ministry of Interior, State Bank of Pakistan, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), FIA, Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) and 4x Provincial Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACEs).

Mr. Qamar Zaman Chaudhry appreciated the cooperation of UNODC and said that NAB gives value to its cooperation with UNODC especially in capacity building of NAB investigation officers. He said that it is to present the recommendations resulting from the country review process to the national and international communities highlighting what has been achieved and what needs to be improved in cooperation with all the stakeholders. He said that as the National Follow-up Committee has now been constituted and it would proactively monitor the progress regarding compliance of the recommendations made by reviewers in the Country Report and would also supervise the preparations for second review cycle. He said that corruption is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon that affects all countries. No society is immune to this challenge which continues to haunt the efforts towards ensuring equitable socio-economic development, establishing rule of law and provision of justice in societies. Corruption undermines democratic institutions, slows economic development and contributes towards political instability, avoidance the rule of law, discourages foreign direct investment and discourages healthy business environment. It is essential for prosperous Pakistan and whole world to cope up with this giant. He emphasizes that all segments of society including government functionaries, civil society, media, law enforcement agencies and public at large must join hands to curb this evil. He said that Pakistan has fulfilled its obligation under United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and completed its Country Review Process, which involved review of all anti-corruption laws, procedures and mechanisms existing in Pakistan.

Mr. Cesar Guedes, Country Representative, UNODC, highlighted that using international standards embodied in the UNCAC, UNODC, as the guardian of the Convention, supports State Parties to strengthen their legal and regulatory frameworks, set preventive, enforcement and prosecutorial measures to address the most prevalent forms of corruption in both public and private sectors. He further emphasized that the report would be one of the most significant milestones the Government of Pakistan has undertaken in combating corruption. He appreciated and commended the efforts of NAB that reflects the commitment and determination of Pakistan to take the necessary measures to emphasize a culture of lawfulness where all the citizens of Pakistan enjoy more efficient, effective and accountable system, hence providing better services to all. He reiterated that UNODC will continue engaging with partnership Pakistan to ensure that the necessary resources and knowledge are well pooled to support the Government of Pakistan in its fight against corruption.

While addressing, Mr. Arshad Mirza, Secretary, Interior Ministry congratulated NAB and other national stakeholders including Ministry of Interior for their sincere efforts in this regard. He said that the Report highlights the progress of the Government of Pakistan and NAB in countering corruption and presents a set of recommendations and priorities in view of enhancing the legal and institutional framework and the capacity of the relevant institutions in Pakistan. He said that the Ministry of Interior being one of the important national stakeholders would take all steps to address the recommendations the reviewers in the Country Review Report of Pakistan. He said NAB and other national stakeholders including Ministry of Interior for their sincere efforts in this regard. He said that the Report highlights the progress of the Government of Pakistan and NAB in countering corruption and presents a set of recommendations and priorities in view of enhancing the legal and institutional framework and the capacity of the relevant institutions in Pakistan.

Earlier, Director General (Operations) NAB Headquarters Mr. Zahir Shah gave detailed presentation on UNCAC review process identified challenges and Pakistan’s implementation strategy.

 

 


 

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