ISLAMABAD: “Pakistan is committed to the 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.”
This was stated by Zahid Hamid, Federal Minister of Law and Justice in his statement at the Launch Event of the Country Review Report of Pakistan in Compliance with the Implementation Review Mechanism of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) Thursday.
Emphasizing the determination of the Government of Pakistan to take concrete action in the future, Mr. Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) stated that “as the National Follow-up Committee has now been constituted, 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”.
Arshad Mirza, Secretary of Interior also added “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”.
“The Report is the result of what is perhaps one of the most significant milestones the Government of Pakistan has undertaken in combatting corruption,” said Mr. Cesar Guedes, Representative, UNODC Pakistan. He further underlined 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.”
Having ratified the UNCAC in August 2007, Pakistan undertook its first review cycle, by doing that it became a State Party to the Convention. The latter requires State Parties to comply with the Convention’s provisions focussing on five main areas: prevention, criminalization and law enforcement, international cooperation, asset recovery and technical assistance.
Pakistan marked its accomplishment manifested in the production of the Report that reflects key recommendations in view of enhancing Pakistan’s legal and institutional capacity as a means of controlling and combatting corruption. Pakistan demonstrated its serious will to take active steps to improve its institutional capacity and align its relevant laws with international norms and standards embodied in the UNCAC.
NAB, as an apex anti-corruption organization, presented the main findings of the Report and announced its future implementation strategy, which is expected to rejuvenate much needed discussion and attention on the way forward to make the anti-corruption efforts more effective and comprehensive.
Attended by key government agencies, international communities, and members of civil society, the launch event is expected to draw further attention and initiate fruitful exchanges for the support of well-targeted and concrete actions to further enhance the capacity of Pakistan’s institutions, public and private, including civil society organizations to tighten their interventions for better governance and anti-corruption in an effective way.