7th Session of Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption | Editor's Choice | Ammon News

7th Session of Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption

[11/19/2017 3:53:09 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Jordan Transparency Center (JTC) as the Elected Coordinator of NGOs, Arab Anti-Corruption, and Integrity Network (ACINET), and Elected Member of MENA at United Nations Convention Against Corruption's (UNCAC) Coalition Coordination Committee (CCC), actively and effectively participated in CoSP7 Plenary Session, special and side events, and in a multi-lateral meetings with governmental and non- governmental delegates representing a wide range of the civic society spectrum. Moreover, JTC delegation participated in UNCAC's Coalition Civil SocietyPreparatory/ Briefing Sessionon Nov 5 and in CCC's In-Person Meeting on Nov 11, 2017.

Nov 5, 2017:
Mrs. Juanita Olaya,Chair of UNCAC Coalition, and Mrs. Gillian Dell from Transparency Internationalbriefly touched on the Coalition's planned activities in CoSP7. This was followed by speeches / presentations from guest speakers.The speeches and presentations focused on the way they perceive development and growth of UNCAC. The guest speakers included Mrs. Thelma Aldana, Guatemala Attorney General and Incoming President of CoSP7, Mr. John Brandolino, Director of the Division of Treaty Affairs, and a number of Transparency International and UNODC senior officers.

In the afternoon sessions, Salim AL Armali from JTC delivered a presentation entitled "Cost Estimation Model (Prototype) of the Implementation Review Process (IRP) for a Country". The presentation included important milestones and a summary of conclusions, findings, and recommendations.Subsequently, few Coalition's members gave presentations on advocacy strategy and messaging for CoSP7, which was followed by the formation of the Coalition's working groups on priority issues e.g. Asset Recovery … etc.

Nov6, 2017 (day 1):
1.Attended part of the general discussion of the opening session at the plenary wherein we met the Jordanian Government's delegation comprising HE Mr. Mohammed EL Allaf, Chairman of the Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission (JIACC) and Mrs. Khuloud EL Oran, head of the International Cooperation Unit at JIACC.

Subsequently, we attended the special event "Understanding the links between corruption and violent extremism". All the speakers emphasized that corruption is an enabler/driver/push factor to extremism. Bribes made to corrupt law enforcement officers have facilitated purchase of weapons, borders crossings, and issuance of fake passports to terrorists. Ms. Adamou shared Niger's experience with terrorism instigated by corruption.

In the afternoon, we attended the second and final special event of the day entitled "role of citizen engagement in fighting against corruption". Mexico's National Anti-Corruption Commission (NAC) representative shared his country's latest anti-corruption reforms including the creation of "CitizenParticipation Commission" (CPC) that represents all segments of the Mexican community and are elected and presided by the citizens. CPCs in Mexico are quite active and effective with highly developed capabilities, institutionally and individually. UNODC'srepresentative has confirmed that Mexico's newly developed anti-corruption system is characterized by best practices.

2.Attended the daily meeting/briefing session of the UNCAC Coalition.

Nov7, 2017 (day 2):

1)Attended five discussion panels in a row on Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR).
Panel 1: High Level Conversation on Asset Recovery:
Guatemala- has 120 criminal analysts some of which are seconded to UN Crime and Criminal Information System. Jointly, they managed to investigate and solve major cases.

Philippines- managed to recover four billion USD from the stolen money by ex-president Marcos. One of the obstacles they face in tracking and investigating stolen money is the inexperienced new magistrates. The office of embezzlement is independent but their efforts were not impressive. The shift in banks attitude and the introduction of the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) concept have helped in fighting corruption. Ms. Hilda Ajeilat from JTC raised a question to the Philippines Speaker about the reason for not merging the Ombudsmen Bureau with the Anti-Corruption in one entity, mentioning Jordan as an example. The response had been that this is mandated by the Constitution.

Srilanka –Bribery andFinancial Transactions Reporting Acts provide adequate legislative anti- corruption structure. More coordination is required among the four law enforcement agencies. Recently, they have developed a National Action Plan for empowering anti-corruption agencies, to control corruption and make the public aware on negative impacts of corruption.

Jersey CI – they do not have secrecy laws. However, Trust Funds in certain aspects may become immune from judicial proceedings. Currently, judicial proceedings are possible only after the criminal conduct. The authorities are working on changing it to include actions before criminal conduct.
Panel 2: Guidelines for the Efficient Recovery of Stolen Assets:

StAR has announced the launch of a new online tool that covers 10 Asset Recovery Guidelines accompanied by a non-binding systematic approach. The Guidelines intend to assist practitioners, policymakers and legislators to better plan each step of the process. Moreover, the guidelines enable viewing the asset recovery process outside its traditional thematic streams such as intelligence, pre-investigation activities, investigation, prosecution and adjudication, and confiscation and restitution.

A number of panel speakers stressed the importance of the new Guidelines by sharing their individual countries experiences. Tunisia, a major setback involving the recovery of the embezzled money by the old regime after five years of legal encounters. Malawi, Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has been quite efficient in fighting money laundering and terrorism financing. Jersey Channel Islands, the government is developing legislation on "Beneficial Ownership" involving "Trust Funds" in two years.
Panel 3:Best Practices on Asset Management

France and Ukraine delegates on the panel described their Asset Management model/process of confiscated assets in their individual countries. They also touched on the risk-mitigating measuresembedded in the described models. Salim AL Armali, from JTC, addressed the panel questioning the adequacy of the described risk-mitigating measures highlighting that beneficiaries of such confiscated assets continue to be exposed to high risks. He suggested using certain financial instruments to hedge for such exposure.
Panel 4: What are the New Resources in Asset Recovery?

Interpol representative summarized the primary tasks of the Interpol stating that it has a presence in 192 countries. He elaborated on Interpol International Notices System. StAR representative announced that new resources would be introduced soon.

Panel 5: the Role of Civil Society in overcoming challenges in the Asset Recovery Process
Tunis – CSOs will continue to exercise pressure on the EU to recover the confiscated assets of the ex-regime politicians in spite of the setback in the French judicial system.
Norway – CSOs play a key role in exercising pressure on all stakeholders (law enforcement agencies, legislators,).

Italy – CSOs helped revealing some of the major scandals in the history of Italy.
Nigeria – CSOs, and in spite of the limited success, continue their fight to recover the stolen money by the old regimes.

2)Attended the daily meeting/briefing session of the UNCAC Coalition.

Nov8, 2017 (day 3):

Attended "Interest and Asset Disclosures by Public Officials: what works and what does not? Latest insights from anti-corruption monitoring bodies".

Jointly organized by GRECO, OECD and UNODC.OECD Consultant: discussed the goals of the study on Interest and Asset Disclosures by Public Officials (IADPOs) in terms of functionality, strategy, impact on integrity in the public sector and data exchange at international level. This will be carried out through prevention, identification, management and sanctioning of conflict of interests of public officials, monitoring of wealth variations of public officials, detection, investigation and prosecution of illicit enrichment and transparency.

Secretary General, High Authority for Transparency in Public Life, France: the Authority has 9 members, 60 agents, and 24 magistrates. Its scope includes 15,800 high-ranking French Public Officials. Two instruments Assets and Interests & Activities.

GRECO Representative: MPs, judges and prosecutors interests and assets more visible, reporting requirements better targeted, more accessible and timely publication, opportunity for self-evaluation and impact assessment, growing number of declarants, multiple declarations, fragmented or cursory oversight, absence of a comprehensive overview of public officials’ interests, complex, frequently changing and oftentimes contradictory legislation.

Anti-Corruption Office Argentina: They have developed an electronically submission system and the assets disclosure statements of the Executive and Legislative branches are public on the internet and. The Anticorruption Office is responsible for the verification of the assets disclosure statement. Argentina has legislation, which regulate principles of civil servants behavior and conflict of interest cases.
Ombudsman of the Philippines: Recommended interventions, centralization and standardization of Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net worth (SALN) administration is key to transforming the asset declaration while automation remains to be an equally important driver of a standard and more efficient and accountable SALN administration.

•Met with H.E. Rafiq El-Natsheh, Head of Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Palestinian delegation.

•Mrs. Ajeilat met with the heads of Palestine, Saudi, Tunis, Morocco, Qatar and Iraqi delegations whereby she informed them of the Transparency Pledge and how important to sign in to reflect their commitment in combating corruption.
•Deliberated a number of important milestones within the Arab Anti-Corruption, and Integrity Network meeting.
•Attended the daily meeting/briefing session of the UNCAC Coalition.

Nov9, 2017 (day 4):
JTC participation and side meetings:
•Attended the special event "Detection of Corruption".
Director of Advocacy at Transparency International: CSOs role in detection of corruption is instrumental by keeping stories alive, and pushing for legislative changes. Future will carry increased coordination among stakeholders i.e. CSOs, law enforcement and others.

OECD representative: detection of corruption will improve through increased trust, collaboration, feedback exchange, proactivity, value given to information and peer review system among stakeholders.

•Attended the special event" Corruption Risk Management: Organizational and Sectorial Aspects". UNDP-ACIAC representative addressed the basics and framework of risk management, followed by presentation of a success story involving corruption risk management in the health sector in Egypt followed by Mexico's risk management experience in the customs sector.

•Mrs. Ajeilat met with Mrs. Enaya Izziddin, Ministerof Social Development and head of the Lebanese delegation to the conference. The Minister expressed her admiration with JTC's activities and initiatives, especially the Transparency Knights and Universities against Corruption.

•Met with U4 Anti-Corruption resource Centre delegate to the conference,and discussed the role and approach of U4 in supporting anti-corruption projects in MENA countries.

•Mrs. Ajeilat, in her capacity as the Coordinator of the NGO group of Arab Anti-Corruption and Integrity Network (ACINET), has participated in the ACINET’s
Governmental groupspecial meeting.

•Mrs. Ajeilat met with the Head of the Tunisian Delegation, whereby he emphasized the importance of joining efforts by strengthening the partnership between governmental anti-corruption agencies and CSOs in the Arab region.

•Attended the daily meeting/briefing session of the UNCAC Coalition.

Nov10, 2017 (day 5):

•Participated in UNCAC Coalition morning meeting to wrap up the promotional campaign involving governments' delegates to the conference. The proposal put forward by Mrs. Ajeilat has received unanimous acceptance from the Coalition members.

•Participated in soliciting governments' delegates to take promotional photos with the Coalition's members.

•Attended the final session of the conference and took note of the adopted resolutions.
•Mrs. Ajeilat live transmitted the whole session through Facebook.

Nov 11, 2017 - Coalition Coordination Committee (CCC) In-Person Meeting:

Attended a full day meeting that covered major agenda topics such as funds raising strategy, setting up of secretariat office, follow-up mechanism on adopted resolutions, enhancement of budgeting process, 3 years funds raising budget, introduction of membership fees, among other topics of minor nature.

Deliverables of the meeting: a number of resolutions thereto, in addition to a tasks' list specifying the responsible members.

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