Press Releases

    7 February 2002


    First Meeting of Ad Hoc Committee concludes in Vienna

    VIENNA, 5 February 2002 (UN Information Service) - Negotiations on a Convention against Corruption have begun at the Ad Hoc Committee for the Elaboration of a Convention against Corruption which concluded its first two-week session in Vienna on 1 February 2002.

    The Ad Hoc Committee completed the first reading of articles 1-39 of the draft convention and will continue with the remaining articles of the draft convention at its second session in Vienna on 17-28 June.

    A one-day workshop on the question of asset recovery will also be held during this session, as proposed by Peru. The workshop will provide participants with technical information and specialized knowledge on the complex issues involved.

    During the first session Member States offered their support for an effective, efficient and universal convention and expressed the view that it should be a flexible and balanced instrument which takes account of the legal, social, cultural, economic and political differences of countries, as well as the different levels of development.

    Member States repeatedly endorsed a convention with clear, precise and realistic provisions applicable at national level. Many representatives also stressed that the future convention should have a multi-disciplinary and comprehensive approach and should strike a balance between preventive and law enforcement measures and should lead to improved international cooperation.

    To advance the negotiation process, the Ad Hoc Committee divided up responsibilities among the members of its Bureau as follows:

    • Preamble and final clauses: Chairman;
    • General Provisions: United Kingdom, assisted by Hungary;
    • Preventive measures: Jordan, assisted by Mauritius;
    • Articles 19-39, concerning criminalization and liability of legal persons of the draft text: Hungary, assisted by United Kingdom;
    • Articles 40-50, concerning sanctions and remedies; confiscation and seizures, protection of witnesses and victims, law enforcement cooperation and jurisdiction: Philippines, assisted by Nigeria;
    • International cooperation: Nigeria, assisted by Peru;
    • Transfer of funds of illicit origin: Peru, assisted by Austria;
    • Technical assistance: Mauritius, assisted by Jordan;
    • Follow-up mechanism: Austria, assisted by Philippines.

    The Committee also authorized its Bureau to review on a case by case basis requests for attendance by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) not in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) as well as representatives of the private sector and national independent anti-corruption bodies. The first such request came from Transparency International, which was admitted to the session as an observer.

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