His Excellency Mr. Anouparb Vongnorkeo
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic
to the United Nations
at the Special Session of the General Assembly on Challenges and Measures to Prevent and Combat Corruption and Strengthen International Cooperation
02-04 June 2021, New York
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At the outset, I wish to extend my sincere congratulations to you, Mr. President, on your assumption of the presidency of this Special Session of the General Assembly.
My delegation welcomes the adoption of the political declaration of the Special Session of the General Assembly on challenges and measures to prevent and combat corruption and strengthen international cooperation, which will serve as an important foundation for Member States and other relevant stakeholders in the fight against corruption together.
It is recognized that the pervasive problem of corruption worldwide continues to threaten political stability and public security while undermining economic development and poverty eradication, as well as the achievement of sustainable development goals by 2030. Against this backdrop, individual countries as well as regional and international organizations have been working together to prevent corruption and combat its spreading impacts, resulting in considerable progress.
The convening of this GA special session proves that the international community has further attached great importance to this issue and it is a historic milestone in encouraging countries, international and regional organizations to continue strengthening their efforts and cooperation in tackling corruption, which is an integral part of striving for SDGs achievement.
For its part, the Lao PDR has always been resolute in its fight against corruption, and has been committed to upholding its rights and obligations as stated in international conventions, in particular the United Nations Convention against Corruption, as well as achieving the SDGs, especially SDG 16. The Lao PDR has clearly set out its inspection and anti-corruption policy in each period; developed comprehensive strategies to prevent and combat corruption; developed and revised the Law on State Inspection, Law on Anti-Corruption, Law on the Handling of Petitions, Penal code, Civil code, Decree on Asset Declaration, legislations related to the promotion of participation of mass organizations, media agencies and the general public in the work of inspection and anti-corruption, National Assembly’s rules of procedure for a vote of no confidence against individuals; established state inspection and anti-corruption agencies at the central level, ministry-agency level, provincial-capital level and district-city level and others. Most recently, the Government Inspection Authority, previously under the government’s oversight, has been succeeded by the State Inspection Authority which is now under the supervision of the President in order to raise its status, mandates, rights and functions as well as its independence.
The Lao PDR has also focused its efforts on preventing and combating corruption in a number of ways, including increasing public awareness campaigns; developing anti-corruption-related teaching curricula from kindergarten to university level; reducing bureaucracies and service bottlenecks by create one-stop service windows; utilizing advance technology in public administration, especially in the financial sector; enhancing regular inspections, early inspections as well as inspections based on order, complaints, requests, audit findings; establishing a coordination mechanism among the State Inspection Authority, the State Audit Organization, the Police Authority, the Public Prosecutor's Office and the People's Court; and conducting investigations in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations. Over the past years, authorities have been able to strictly inspect, investigate, prosecute, sentence, and discipline offenders in accordance with the laws. Moreover, a number of the stolen assets have been recovered.
In addition, the Lao PDR has also enhanced cooperation and exchanged best practices with other countries, regional and international organizations, especially UNODC; successfully participated in both review cycles and just completed reviewing Burkina Faso and is currently preparing to jointly conduct the review for Niue in the second review cycle. As a member of the ASEAN Parties Against Corruption (ASEAN-PAC), the Lao PDR has actively engaged in other bilateral and trilateral cooperation with 5 neighboring countries based on Memorandum of Understanding as well as with other friendly countries and international organizations.
The Lao PDR has always supported international cooperation in preventing and combating corruption under the framework of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in accordance with the principle of respect for national sovereignty, non-interference into domestic affairs, equality and mutual benefits. We also support and encourage the participation by all sectors in combating corruption in line with the constitution, laws, procedures and circumstances of each country. It is our view that for effective cooperation under the UN Convention Against Corruption or relevant mechanisms, developed countries and international and regional organizations should further enhance their support and assistance to developing countries in order to help increase their capacity to prevent and combat corruption.