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UNODC assists the Lao anti-corruption agency to intensify efforts for effective fight against corruption

Mr. Leik Boonwaat, UNODC Representative for the Lao PDR, handed over possession of office equipment to Mr. Bounpone Sangsomsak, Vice-President of GIA, on 15 February 2012.

Vientiane, 16 February 2012 - Commemorating the 30 th anniversary of its establishment in 1982, the Government Inspection and Anti-Corruption Authority (GIA) of Lao PDR is strengthening its capacity for effective fight against corruption.  As one of least-developed countries (LDCs), Lao PDR is forced to fight corruption with limited resources.  The latest Corruption Perception Index released by the Transparency International in December 2011 ranked Lao PDR as a 154 th among 182 countries and regions in the world.  Despite all these perceived difficulties, the country places fight against corruption among its national priorities, as Mr. Bounpone Sangsomsak, Vice President of GIA, reiterated in his remarks at the national celebration event of the International Anti-Corruption Day on 9 December 2011.

Lao PDR ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2009.  Since the start of the UNCAC Implementation Review, a peer review framework to assure State Parties' compliance to the Convention, Lao PDR has been very active in the Review.  Lao PDR was one of the reviewing State Parties for Croatia during the first year of Review starting in 2010.  Right after completing the review of Croatia, Lao PDR started its own review by Luxembourg and Mongolia, which is to be completed by mid-2012.

UNODC, through its global GLOT58 Project "Towards an effective Global Regime against corruption", has been assisting Lao PDR's active participation in the UNCAC Implementation Review. GLOT58 Project has a country component for Lao PDR, which is funded by Japan, since 2011.  UNODC organized a 2-day workshop on the Self-Assessment Checklist used in the Implementation Review in December 2011 in Vientiane.  The workshop was attended by more than 20 Lao national experts and three UNODC experts including those from the Regional Centre in Bangkok and the Headquarters in Vienna.  The workshop helped Lao national experts enhance their understanding of key questions in responding to the Checklist.

National anti-corruption experts discussed with UNODC experts issues in responding the Self-Assessment Checklist.

To further ensure Lao PDR's timely response to the Checklist, Crime Prevention Expert from the UNODC Country Office extendedly worked with the national experts on the Checklist as a resource person for three weeks in January 2012.  The UNODC regional anti-corruption advisor also joined the national experts' work for three days to help them respond to questions on international cooperation.  By February 2012, the national experts have completed the Checklist and are currently awaiting the senior authority's approval of submission for review by Luxembourg and Mongolia.  While GIA was actively leading the Implementation Review, it also organized a nation-wide awareness raising campaign, targeting government officers in December 2011 and January 2012.

In the course of tireless efforts to strengthen the Government's anti-corruption capacity, GIA has found that its office equipment needs to be updated to deal with its heavy workload effectively.  Responding to GIA's request for support, the UNODC GLOT58 Project decided to provide a notebook computer and a portable LCD projector through its Lao PDR country component.  On 15 February 2012, a day before GIA's 30 th anniversary, UNODC handed over possession of the equipment to GIA.  The handed-over equipment is expected to enhance GIA's capacity to communicate with its national and international counterparts, and produce and disseminate knowledge products in a timely and efficient manner.