Corruption impedes progress by hindering the structure of safe, just and healthy development
To combat corruption, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2003. This convention is the first legally binding international anti-corruption instrument. It obliges State Parties to implement an extensive range of anti-corruption measures that focus on the legal framework and the core anti-corruption institutions and practices.
The Lao PDR was among the first countries to sign the convention. Following the National Assembly's resolution to ratify UNCAC on 22 September 2009, the Government of the Lao PDR deposited the instrument of ratification with the Secretary General of the United Nations in New York on 25 September 2009. Ratification of UNCAC has made 2009 a landmark year for the fight against corruption in the Lao PDR.
The rationale for strengthening the foundations of healthy, just and safe socio-economic development in the Lao PDR through development of the National Strategy to Prevent and Fight Corruption is based on the following elements:
-Misappropriation of public funds, taking of bribes, improper exercise or non-exercise of authority and neglect of official duties will deprive the Lao nation of their assets and opportunities for development.
-Because Laos is substantially relying on assistance from international cooperation, such deprivation of assets and opportunities simultaneously occurs to the international community as well.
-Unjust enrichment of corrupt officials and their business partners without any risk of prosecution and deprivation of their property will discourage civil society's aspiration for prosperity through legitimate business activities, or may even destabilize the Government by discrediting its legitimacy and capacity to govern.
In this connection, the anti-corruption response will based on the following components:
-Current framework (including legislation and organizations) to prevent and fight corruption will be assessed for further refinement.
-The National Strategy to Prevent and Fight Corruption will be developed.
-Ratification of the UN Convention against Corruption will be supported.
-Amendment of national law to incorporate requirements of the UN Convention against Corruption will be supported.
-Training materials for law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges on anti-corruption legislation will be developed and training will be conducted.
-A framework to forfeit and recover crime proceeds derived from corruption will be established.