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Lao PDR is now on to further strengthen fight against corruption

Vientiane, 21 December 2012 - By commemorating the International Anti-Corruption Day, the Government of the Lao PDR expresses its firm determination to reinforce its anti-corruption efforts.

Lao PDR enacted the Anti-Corruption Law in 2006 and ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2009.  The Lao PDR has been among the most active participants in the UNCAC implementation peer review process.  The on-going country peer review by Luxembourg and Mongolia is expected to be completed by early-2013.  Every year the Government conducts nation-wide campaigns to raise awareness and ensure the integrity and accountability of Government officials as well as to strengthen the capacity of inspection officers.

On the occasion of the International Anti-Corruption Day 2012, the Government vows to further strengthen its efforts.  On the 12th December, the Government organized the national ceremony to commemorate the International Anti-Corruption Day in Luangphabang, the country's historic ancient capital.  The ceremony, chaired by Mr. Saysamone Komthavong, Vice-Governor of the Luangphabang Province, was attended by more than 500 officials from all over the Province.  In the ceremony, Mr. Khamsouk Bounhnavong, Vice-President of the Government Inspection and Anti-Corruption Authority (GIAA), presented an annual report of the Government anti-corruption activities.  According to Mr. Khamsouk, the Government continued to make various achievements in its fight against corruption in 2012, including:

  • Approval by the Prime Minister of the national anti-corruption strategy 2012-2020 on 6 December 2012;
  • Seminars and lectures on major Government and party officials;
  • Progress in the UNCAC Implementation Review, such as the country visit of the reviewing experts in October 2012; and
  • Strengthened anti-corruption frameworks at the central and local levels.

Mr. Khamsouk also reported on the many challenges the Government faces, these included:

  • Limited understanding of anti-corruption policies and law by people caused by insufficient dissemination of relevant information; and
  • Limited enforcement of anti-corruption law caused by insufficient capacity of concerned officials.

Reviewing the achievements and challenges, Mr. Khamsouk urged every Government organization to develop its own anti-corruption action plan and clarify responsibilities of the organization and individual officials.  He also emphasized the need to adopt measures against corruption in the private sector, properly inspect state enterprises, and to strengthen inter-agency cooperation for effective investigation and prosecution of corruption cases.  Mr. Fumio Ito, UNODC Crime Prevention Expert, participated in the ceremony and read out the message of the UNODC Executive Director, Mr. Yury Fedotov.

After the ceremony, a seminar on practical responses to corruption was held with participation of officers in charge of state inspection in Luangphabang.  The participants shared experiences and challenges in their daily practices and actively exchanged their views.  Issues of discussion included:

  • How the anti-corruption law may be effectively enforced; and
  • How provincial-level inspection officers may contribute to better perception of Lao PDR concerning commitment to fight against corruption.

In collaboration with UNDP, UNODC supported the Government's anti-corruption media campaign commemorating the Anti-Corruption Day.  With UNODC-UNDP support, the Government organized the events in Luangphabang, posted advertising banners over roads with anti-corruption messages from 7 to 9 December, published special anti-corruption articles on major newspapers from 6 to 9 December, printed and distributed 7,000 copies of the UN Act against Corruption campaign posters and broadcasted the UNODC-UNDP public service announcement (PSA) spot "Vanishing" on the National Television from 18 to 24 December.  The posters and PSA spot were translated into Lao.

It was one of the biggest public anti-corruption campaigns in recent years, while the Government organizes anti-corruption campaigns to raise awareness of people and officials on the occasion of the International Day every year.  The UN-supported campaign of this year is expected to reach more people and officials through visual and printed materials published in the local language.