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Brief Introduction on the Implementation of UNCAC

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  • Last updated:2019-05-27
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The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 31 October 2003 and entered into force on 14 December 2005. It consists of eight chapters with a total of 71 articles, and has been ratified by 182 State Parties (as of 5 September 2017). To demonstrate our determination to combat corruption, to synchronize with the current global trend of combating corruption and with the international legal system, and to more effectively prevent and eradicate corruption, our country has enacted the Act to Implement United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC Act) on 20 May 2015, which took effect on 9 December 2015. The President issued a document of accession to the United Nations Convention against Corruption on 22 June 2015, and the United Nations Convention against Corruption has the force of domestic law. UNCAC offers guidance and provides a legal framework and policy for governments to combat corruption, including corruption prevention measures, conviction and law enforcement, international cooperation, and the recovery of illegal assets, and create a global legal framework for the combating of corruption, to assist countries around the world in their joint efforts to combat corruption. With regard to prevention, UNCAC emphasizes the importance of preventive measures, promotion of the rule of law, proper management of the public interest, transparency, and accountability, in order to minimize opportunities for corruption. UNCAC also requires the public and private sectors and NGOs to work together to maximize the effectiveness of preventive measures. With regard to the investigation of corruption, UNCAC clearly sets forth the forms of the crime of corruption as well as detailed rules for enforcement, such as prosecution, trial, seizure, or confiscation of property, to greatly enhance the efficacy of the fight against the crime of corruption. For example, kickbacks received by personnel of well-known corporations and the subsequent food security scandal have attracted attention to governance issues in the private sector. Article 21 of UNCAC declares “the promise, offering or giving, directly or indirectly, of an undue advantage to any person who directs or works, in any capacity, for a private sector entity, for the person himself or herself or for another person…” a crime, while under measures to prevent corruption involving the private sector (Article 12), the convention stipulates that State Parties take measures to enhance accounting and auditing standards in the private sector, and provide civil, administrative or criminal penalties for failure to comply to help the private sector strengthen its ethics and promote honest business. Pursuant to the UNCAC Act, government agencies at all levels must within three years formulate, adopt, amend, or repeal laws and regulations and improve administrative measures that do not comply with UNCAC. For example, UNCAC contains a section on international cooperation to effectively recover the proceeds of crime and to deal with cross-border corruption. Thus, to further mutual legal assistance, the Ministry of Justice has drafted an International Criminal Law Mutual Assistance Act and amended the Extradition Act to establish a more comprehensive legal basis for mutual legal assistance in international criminal justice, more effectively and promptly recover ill-gotten gains, and facilitate the extradition of suspects. The government is also obligated to periodically publish reports on its fight against corruption, covering analysis of the corruption environment, risks, and trends, and the effectiveness of its anti-corruption policies and measures for review by society. The Agency Against Corruption, Ministry of Justice actively promotes the country’s legal system and policies to combat corruption in accordance with UNCAC, and coordinates with all levels of government to jointly implement a legal framework for combating corruption as stipulated by UNCAC, in hopes of gaining recognition and support from observers and partners, and to work together to improve the corruption situation in our country and achieve the goal of good governance under a clean government.

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