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Vietnam accedes to UNCAC

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Article from Unofficial translation from Ho Chi Minh City Law Newspaper
Author: Nqhia Nhan
Published: 3/07/2009
Newspaper section:Politic

The President of Viet Nam on June 30, 2009 signed the approval for Vietnam's accession to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, engaging Vietnam in the community of nearly 140 state parties that are signatories to the Convention. The accession means that Vietnam has become party to the global legal framework for cooperation in anti-corruption.

Apart from the ratification, Viet Nam has also announced its reservation not to abide by Item 2, Article 66 of UNCAC. This item stipulates that "any dispute between two or more State Parties concerning the interpretation or application of UNCAC that cannot be settled through negotiation within a reasonable time at the request of one of those State Parties, be submitted to arbitration. If, [six months after the date of request for arbitration] those State Parties are unable to agree on the organisation of the arbitration, any of those State Parties may refer the dispute to the International Court of Justice [by request in accordance with the Statute of the Court]."

Viet Nam also announces not to be bound by some optional and non-compulsory terms of the UNCAC. These include criminalisation of illicit enrichment, bribery and embezzlement in the private sector, liability of legal persons and special investigative techniques. It is explained that these contents have not been covered by Vietnam's laws. In addition, Vietnam will not consider UNCAC as the immediate legal framework when considering extradition of a person for any of the offenses covered by the UNCAC. The extradition will be subject to Vietnam's laws.Earlier, upon reviewing Viet Nam's ability to meet all the terms and conditions covered by the UNCAC, the Prime Minister submitted a letter certifying that Viet Nam's existing laws meet all 135 compulsory terms and conditions of the Convention, 61 out of 64 optional regulations, and 37 out of 38 recommended regulations.With that foundation, the membership of Viet Nam in UNCAC would assist Viet Nam in learning international experience, in receiving information and international financial assistance in anti-corruption. Besides, Vietnam would exercise its rights as a state party to the Convention, including the rights to request another State Party to provide Viet Nam with mutual legal assistance in investigating and punishing corruption cases that involve foreign partners.