Press Release

UNODC Chief visits Myanmar, offers UNODC support, stresses need for all countries to adopt UN Anti-Corruption Convention

Pace of political reform gives hope that Myanmar will work closely with international and regional partners to confront illicit drug trafficking, corruption, and transnational organized crime

Nay Pyi Taw/Vienna, 1 December 2012 - Speaking after his meeting with Vice-President Dr. Sai Mauk Kham in the Royal Capital Nay Pyi taw, UN Office on Drugs and Crime Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, welcomed the Myanmar Government's  commitment to confronting the issues of illicit drugs and organized crime.

"Opium and amphetamine-type-stimulents are problems in Myanmar, but they are also considerable challenges to neighbouring countries. I welcome the Government's fresh engagement on these issues, and I look forward to working with them, alongside other regional partners, to build an integrated response to deal with these transnational threats," Mr. Fedotov said.

Aside from illicit drugs, the Vice-President and Mr. Fedotov discussed the impact of corruption on the country's reform processes.  He emphasized the importance of fast-tracking the process of ratifying the UN Convention against Corruption, while offering UNODC's assistance in aligning the country's laws with the Convention.

"The UN Convention against Corruption offers a blueprint for dealing with corruption and I would encourage the Myanmar Government to ratify it as soon as possible. We all have great hopes for the reforms. The incorporation of the comprehensive measures that the Convention calls for will safeguard and buttress those reforms," said Mr. Fedotov.  "The Convention is a successful barrier to corruption."

In addition to support for anti-corruption activities, Mr. Fedotov highlighted the importance of wider rule of law reform measures and indicated UNODC's willingness to work with the Government in the areas of anti-money laundering, counter-terrorism, and police and prison reform.

As well as discussions with Vice-President, Mr. Fedotov met with the Home Affairs Minister, Lieutenant General Ko Ko, the Myanmar Chief of Police, Major General Kyaw Kyaw Tun and the Union Minister for Border Affairs, Major General Thein Htay.

Mr. Fedotov was speaking in Myanmar during a 14-day mission to South East Asia. While in the region, Mr. Fedotov will visit heads of state, discuss the issues of illicit drugs, corruption, and organized crime with local experts and meet staff of UNODC's regional and country programmes.

For media inquiries, please contact:

John Bleho

UNODC Regional Centre for East Asia and the Pacific

Telephone: (+66) 81750 0539

Mobile: (+66) 2 288 2091 office

john.bleho[at]unodc.org

David Dadge
Spokesperson, UNODC
Telephone: (+43 1) 26060-5629
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5629
Email: david.dadge[at]unvienna.org

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