NAB, UNODC launch Country Review Report

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APP10-21 ISLAMABAD: September 21 - Federal Minister for Law and Justice, Zahid Hamid addressing after a ceremony organized by NAB and UNODC to launch country review report in compliance with the implementation review mechanism of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). APP

ISLAMABAD, Sept 21 (APP): National Accountability Bureau
(NAB) Thursday launched the Country Review Report in compliance
with the implementation Review Mechanism of the United Nations
Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC)
The launching ceremony of the report was jointly organized
by NAB and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
Country Office Pakistan.
Among others, the ceremony was attended by Federal Minister
for Law and Justice, Zahid Hamid as chief guest whereas Qamar Zaman
Chaudhry, Chairman NAB, Imtiaz Tajwar, Deputy Chairman NAB, Arshad
Mirza, Secretary Interior, Cesar Guedes Country Representative UNODC
in Pakistan were also present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Zahid Hamid congratulated NAB and
other national stakeholders on successfully launching the report
and fulfilling the international obligation under UNCAC.
He said NAB was focal agency for UNCAC, which is the only
legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument 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.
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.
The minister 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).
He said that Pakistan was 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.
Speaking on the occasion, Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, Chairman 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 the UNCAC was 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 while Pakistan signed UNCAC on December 9, 2003 and ratified
the convention on 31st August 2007.
He 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 corruption was a complex social, political and
economic phenomenon that affects all countries and said that it was
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.
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 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.
Speaking on the occasion, 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 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.
Earlier, Director General (Operations) NAB Headquarters
Zahir Shah gave detailed presentation on UNCAC review process
identified challenges and Pakistan’s implementation strategy.