Publishe Date: 3:15 PM - 11/7/2017 | Print

Justice Minister demands accountability of sanction-imposing states

Politics - Iranian Justice Minister Alireza Avaei has urged sanction-imposing states to be accountable for the negative consequences of their actions and the rise in corruption.

'The Islamic Republic of Iran is convinced that any unilateral measures to impose sanctions on other countries are contrary to the ultimate objectives of the UN Convention Against Corruption, namely transparency, good governance of public affairs, accountability and the rule of law' Avaei said at 7th Conference of State Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).
'Those impediments will ultimately affect negatively the ability of governments to fight corruption. Such sanctions warrant the imposing states to be held accountable,' he added.
The event was held on Monday with the attendance of Iran's Justice Minister Alireza Avaei and Iran's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Reza Najafi.

The full text of Avaei's address follows:

At the outset I would like Madame President to congratulate you, on your election to preside over this meeting, high level representative. It is my great honor and, indeed a privilege to address this noble gathering and I am fully confident that under your able leadership, the Conference of the state parties would reach heights of success.

This year marks the twelve anniversary of the coming into force of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. Unfortunately, Corruption is yet, a widespread phenomenon which undermines ethical values, misappropriates the management of public funds, hampers development and economic growth, exacerbates social inequalities and dissonance and, above all, dents the confidence of citizens in democratic institutions and processes. Corruption concerns all and could not be suppressed without cooperation of all state parties.
In fact cooperation between States is cornerstone in preventing corruption. Corruption is not limited to the national boundaries, therefore the combating thereof, should be internationally obligations.

There can be hardly found a single case of corruption which does not involve, at least, a trans-national element. Even in the most domestic cases, offenders usually evade the jurisdictions by using sophisticated means and methods to conceal and transfer illicit acquired assets.

Unfortunately, certain governments, have chosen a non-cooperative approach. While many multilateral documents have been adopted with the aim of strengthening cooperation in combating corruption, there is hardly a model treaty, tailored to the specific characteristic of the illicit assets recovery.

Statistics as regards the transfer of illegal flow of financial revenues from developing countries, which are also often the victims of the stolen assets are very shocking.

Global statistics on bribery and its proceeds transferred, during 15 years, from countries of origin to the destination countries, amount to $ 1 trillion. More shockingly and regrettably the recovered assets have not been exceeded more than 7-to-8 billion dollars.

Madame President

This is a bitter figure, despite the fact that the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) has made all countries committed to fully cooperation in combating corruption and recovering their property.

My delegation wishes to join in the speeches of the Asian Pacific Group and the Group of 77 and China, to this fact that Asset recovery is a fundamental principle of the Convention which could be a benchmark to reveal how state parties are serious in their commitments in the fight against corruption. Combating corruption would not be successful without an effective mechanism, in turn, sincere efforts for asset recovery. UNCAC would not produce any fruit if there is no political will on the part of countries of destination. It is also unfortunate that the international cooperation on this issue is still in a rudimentary stage. Without effective cooperation, attainment of the development targets, seems almost impossible. My delegation wishes to emphasize that without fostering a conducive modalities to that target, the poor countries would be poorer and the rich become richer. In this regard, the drafting a mutual legal assistance model agreement, in order to remove the legal and administrative barriers for asset recovery, is imperative.

Madame President

Since the sixth conference in 2015, the Islamic Republic of Iran has intensified its legal and administrative anti-corruption efforts. Fortunately, we have seen a decline in the number of offenses and crimes committed due to corruption. In the following, I would like to point out to the few of the most important adopted thereof.

1- Development and implementation of Roadmap for Reforming the Public Administration System 2- Development and implementation of a roadmap for developing e-government 3- Reforming the Banking, Customs and Taxation System 4- Amending the Anti-Money Laundering Law and its By-law
5. Amending the Law on Guild Violations 6. Approval of the Suppression of Financing of Terrorism Act 7. Amending the Law on the Promotion of Public Integrity and the Fight against Corruption 8. Approval of the Protection of Witnesses and Informants By-law.

Madame President

Last but not the least; I want to express my best thanks to the Secretariat for all efforts done.

 

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