Arrival of Lao PDR prosecutor to Republic of Korea kicks off Regional Prosecutor Exchange Programme

Bangkok (Thailand), 8 May 2012
- UNODC Regional Centre for East Asia and the Pacific (RCEAP) announced the launch of its Prosecutor Exchange Programme as Mr. Xaysana Souliyavong, a prosecutor from the Office of the Supreme People's Prosecutor, Lao PDR, arrived in the Republic of Korea to study anti-money laundering there.

Mr. Souliyavong, the Chief of the Civil Department of the Office of the Northern Regional People's Prosecutor, is the first participant in the Prosecutor Exchange Programme. The Programme aims to enhance regional cooperation among prosecutors in Asia and contribute to the development of a regional network that can effectively respond to the increased threats and complex issues posed by transnational organized criminal groups. It does this by promoting an exchange of prosecutorial experience, expertise and best practices between participating countries.

Designed in collaboration with ASEAN as a sub-programme of the Towards AsiaJust Programme under UNODC's Regional Programme Framework for East Asia and the Pacific, the Prosecutor Exchange Programme is funded by the Republic of Korea. Its initiation was agreed to at the High Level Prosecutors' Meeting of ASEAN and the Republic of Korea, held in 2010 in Seoul.

"The ultimate aim of the Towards AsiaJust Programme is to establish a better-designed transnational organized justice scheme in the region. The Prosecutor Exchange Programme might be a little step forward but it will certainly pave the way for achieving our aims," said Mr. Keebong Paek, Senior Prosecutorial and Judicial Adviser of UNODC RCEAP.

During his eight-week exchange in Korea, Mr. Souliyavong will conduct in-depth research on Korea's anti-money laundering system at the Supreme Prosecutors' Office and at the Korean Institute of Criminology, a member of the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme Network (UNPNI).

"Prosecutors in Lao PDR now recognize anti-money laundering as a significant issue in fighting organized crime," said Mr. Souliyavong. "I look forward to obtaining more knowledge on the anti-money laundering investigation system of the Republic of Korea through this opportunity."

Both the Supreme Prosecutors' Office and the Korean Institute of Criminology welcomed the Lao PDR prosecutor and said that they would commit themselves to provide utmost hospitality to him. In exchange for Mr. Souliyavong's stay, a Korean prosecutor will be nominated to the Exchange Programme and dispatched to other countries in the region.