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H.E. Li Jinzhang, Head of the Chinese Delegation and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, made a statement at the First Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (2006-12-18)
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10 December 2006 


(By Permanent Mission to the Vienna)


The First Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption was held in Amman, Jordan, from 10-14 December 2006. By November 2006, the Convention had 140 Signatories and 80 States Parties.


On the December 10th, H.E. Li Jinzhang, head of the Chinese Delegation and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, made a statement at the Conference. The following is the full text of the statement:


The Chinese government is pleased to see the entry into force of the Convention against Corruption only 2 years after its adoption by the UN General Assembly. Today the number of States Parties of the Convention has reached 80. The fact that it has been less than 5 years since the Convention was first drafted till its formal entry into force fully demonstrates the strong political will of the international community to prevent and combat corruption, to carry out international cooperation for that purpose. The Chinese Delegation extends its warm congratulations on the entry into force of the Convention and the convocation of this Conference of the States Parties.


China attaches great importance to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, and as a State Party, China will fulfill all the obligations provided for in the Convention. China is now working to build a mechanism on the combating and prevention of corruption that is consistent with the socialist market economy and puts equal emphasis on education, regulation and supervision. This mechanism follows the same aim and spirit with the Convention and provides the same as the Convention. To ensure effective implementation of the Convention, China has established a coordinating body inviting twenty-five governmental departments at the ministerial level. Up to now, the departments concerned have made a comprehensive and systematical study on the implementation of the Convention and the issue of compatibility between China's national legislation and the Convention and, on that basis, started to make institutional adjustments on anti-corruption, revise related laws and enhance the building of the legal system. To meet the requirements of the Convention, China's legislative authority is now working on the amendment of the Criminal Law and the Criminal Procedure Law, including the possible amendment to establish bribery and corruption as predicate crimes for money laundering, and the modification of the constituent elements of such crimes as bribery, corruption and embezzlement. On 31st October 2006, the Chinese legislative authority adopted the Anti-Money Laundering Law. The Law sets up the customer information verification system, record-keeping system, and reporting of large-value and suspicious transactions and inside supervision system, and identifies illegal proceeds from bribery, corruption and other financial crimes as the key targets for anti-money laundering monitoring. This Law will come into effect on 1st January 2007.


In order to address both the symptoms and root causes of corruption, China has taken multi-faceted measures in the judicial, law enforcement, and administrative fields, to prevent and combat corruption. Such measures have proved to be effective and efficient.


In the judicial field, the Chinese judicial organs have taken more forceful measures against corruption, and investigates, prosecutes and adjudicates bribery and corruption cases according to law. In law enforcement, governments at all levels have formulated conduct code for civil servants and taken more stringent measures to ensure that officials act according to law and exercise probity and self-discipline. Meanwhile, the government and law enforcement agencies encourage and are receptive to supervision from the general public and the media. A public reporting system has been set up to facilitate public participation in the fight against corruption. It is fair to say that in the fight against corruption in China, the legislative, judicial and administrative departments work hand in hand and the government, community and individual all take part thus forming an enabling environment in the anti-corruption campaign.


While working on domestic legislation to ensure its compatibility with the Convention, the Chinese Government also attaches great importance to international cooperation against corruption. Not long ago, China successfully hosted the First Annual Conference of the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities, which was attended by over 900 professionals from more than 130 countries and regions as well as relevant international organizations. During the Conference, participants discussed effective implementation of the Convention Against Corruption, formed the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities and adopted the Resolution of the First Annual Conference and General Meeting of the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities, laying down a solid foundation for reinforcing international cooperation in combating embezzlement, bribery and other corruptive offences.


The United Nations Convention against Corruption is the first global legal instrument against corruption. It establishes the norms acceptable to all countries in their joint campaign against corruption. It sets up principles and rules for recovering assets related to corruption, and for the first time at international level, puts in place mechanisms of enhancing international cooperation in assets confiscation and mutual legal assistance, of technical assistance, and of review mechanism of implementation of the Convention. We hope all States Parties will demonstrate the political will for sincere cooperation on the basis of mutual respect for sovereignty, equality and mutual benefit, so that the Convention will truly serve as a legal foundation and a powerful tool for international anti-corruption cooperation. For this purpose, we wish to put forward the following proposals on the implementation of the Convention for the review of this Conference:


With regard to the review mechanism of the implementation of the Convention, we hold that at the current stage, focus should be kept on the current provisions of the Convention and all work be based on the mechanism of the Conference of the States Parties and the Secretariat as provided for by the Convention. Experience should be accumulated as the Convention is put into actual implementation. In order to explore and gradually set up a review mechanism for implementation that best fits into the actual circumstances of the implementation of the Convention, a step-by-step approach should be adopted.


On asset recovery, since asset recovery is an innovative and unique legal system set by the Convention, and given the absence of judicial practice of asset recovery under the Convention, which came into force only recently, as well as the complex legal procedures on asset recovery stipulated by the Convention, the specific implementation of the legal framework of asset recovery will depend, to a large extend, on how relevant domestic laws are linked up with the provisions of the Convention. We hold that the Conference of the States Parties should put asset recovery high on its agenda and focus on the following two aspects: at the political level, special attention should be given to strengthening the political will among States Parties for cooperation in this field. Efforts should be made to prevent the criminals from misusing the judicial procedures of the country where they hide to evade to extradition and deportation, which weakens the effect of asset recovery. At the legal level, special efforts should be taken to overcome the legal obstacles between the requesting states and the requested states, in order to close the possible loopholes caused by discrepancies in legal systems between the requesting states and the requested states of which the criminals might take advantage. In general, deliberation of the Conference of the States Parties on this issue should facilitate the states parties to make more effective use of the criminal law measures including tracing, seizure, freezing and confiscation, civil law measures including initiating civil action in the requested states, and measures for international cooperation such as mutual legal assistance and extradition, in order to promote the recovery of the assets.


With regard to technical assistance, we suggest that targeted projects and plans on technical assistance be identified through studies to address the possible difficulties developing countries may encounter during the process of implementation the Convention, so that developing countries will get more assistance in terms of human and technical resources in preventing and punishing corruption and effectively implementing the Convention, and their capacity of implementation will be enhanced. This is of crucial importance to the full and effective implementation of the Convention.


We are glad to note that another three forums are going to be held during the Conference. We hope that discussions in these forums be practical and constructive, in order to contribute to the effective implementation of the Convention. We wish all three forums yield satisfying results.


This gathering of representatives to the conference of the State Parties in Jordan will send a clear signal to the world: that is, the international community bears no tolerance for corruption, which undermines the interests of our country, our society and our people. I wish to reiterate that the Chinese government is resolute in combating corruption, and that its position on strengthening international anti-corruption cooperation is unequivocal. China will work with the international community, and contribute our part to the effective implementation of the Convention, so that together we will foster a healthy legal environment for the economic and social development of China and the world.



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