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Remarks Bakhodir Burkhanov, Deputy Country Director, UNDP Viet Nam at “Enhancing Mechanisms in Handling Corruption Crimes and in Law Enforcement: International Experience and Lessons Learnt for Viet Nam”

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Event: “Enhancing Mechanisms in Handling Corruption Crimes and in Law Enforcement: International Experience and Lessons Learnt for Viet Nam”
Date: Friday, 3 July, 08:15AM-12:00PM
Venue: Tây Hồ Hotel, 8 Đặng Thai Mai, Hà Nội.

Mr. Nguyen Doan Khanh, Member of the Central Party Committee, Deputy Director of CCIA

Mr Li Ming-Chak, Former Deputy Commissioner of Hong Kong Independent Commission for Anti-Corruption (ICAC)

Dear participants:

I would like to join Mr. Khanh in welcoming the participants to today’s dialogue, and thank the Central Commission for Internal Affairs (CCIA) for hosting this discussion.

This event is a welcome continuation of UNDP’s partnership with this important organ of the Party in the area of control of corruption, which started in 2014. Today’s dialogue will be the first in a series of three policy discussions between CCIA and UNDP in 2015. Later this year, we plan to examine corruption prosecution processes, and to review the implementation of the Anti-Corruption Strategy and the revision of the Anti-Corruption Law.

A number of organic laws and legal frameworks are currently under review following the adoption of the 2013 Constitutional amendment. Among these, the Penal Code (adopted in 1999 and revised in 2009) and the 2003 Criminal Procedure Code, that are being comprehensively reviewed. These developments are very pertinent to our discussion today, and we have an opportunity to examine national and international experiences in detecting and handling corruption crimes in the context of these revisions. In this regard, legislative development processes stand to benefit greatly from a review from the human rights and citizen rights angle, including the principles enshrined in the 2013 Constitution and the international covenants and commitments that Viet Nam has committed to uphold.

The Central Commission for Internal Affairs plays a key role in formulating the Party’s direction and guidance to relevant agencies as they revise the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code, including a subset of norms and regulations addressing the corruption crimes.

Later this morning, we will hear from experts on relevant international practices. Allow me to briefly highlight three key points from UNDP’s perspective:

Firstly, the cleanest countries in the world are tough on corruption, while at the same time respectful of human rights and fundamental freedoms. These must not be competing priorities, but rather mutually reinforcing ones. Getting this right is at the very heart of the Rule of Law.

Secondly, instituting and actively promoting a zero tolerance policy is in itself a strong deterrent. Countries that are successful in curbing corruption send a strong message to all public and private sector actors that corruption is a high-risk crime. Enforcement is obviously critical; all pursuable complaints should be dealt with.

Lastly, community support is essential to success. It is as important as effective institutions and leadership. Anti-corruption is everyone’s business and can no longer be seen as monopoly of the Government. Citizens and communities have a part to play in fostering a culture of integrity, transparency and accountability.

Ladies and gentlemen:

This promises to be a stimulating discussion thanks to the work done by the national research team and a panel of invited resource persons from Hong Kong, Japan and Australia. I would like to extend our warm thanks to all partner institutions and individuals for their willingness to come and share their insights.

I look forward to an open and frank discussion today. Thank you for your attention.