UNODC, in partnership with The Globe Network and the National Anti-Corruption Commission of Thailand (NACC), collaborated to host the ‘Regional Anti-Corruption Conference for Law Enforcement Professionals in Southeast Asia’ in Bangkok, Thailand from 29-31 August 2022. The conference featured discussions on topics such as corruption challenges and anti-corruption best practices in Southeast Asia, criminal justice responses to corruption, lessons learned from other regions in responding to corruption, as well as several working groups and discussion panels.
Working Group 1 of the conference focused on strengthening regional and international cooperation for investigating and prosecuting multi-jurisdictional corruption cases. The group featured speakers from organizations such as the Anti-Money Laundering Council (Philippines), the Supreme People’s Procuracy (Viet Nam) and the Office of the Attorney General (Thailand) as well as representatives from various divisions of UNODC, including Anti-Corruption and Criminal Justice.
Working Group 1 particularly reinforced the participants’ understanding of topics including identifying suspicious financial transactions and enhancing cooperation to process them, recent developments and challenges in investigating and prosecuting complex corruption cases in the region and improving efficiency in Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) and international cooperation.
Working Group 2 of the conference focused on the links between Transnational Organized Crime (TOC) and corruption as witnessed through lucrative industries in the region. The group featured speakers from organizations such as The Partnership for Governance Reform (Indonesia), The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (Thailand), and The National Financial Crime Centre (Malaysia), as well as representatives from various divisions of UNODC, such as Human Trafficking and the Global SMART Programme.
Working Group 2 particularly strengthened the participants’ understanding of topics including Challenges and Solutions to Tackling Wildlife Crime in Southeast Asia, Money Laundering from Forestry Crimes, and The Illicit Drug Economy, Organized Crime and Corruption.
Working Group 3 of the conference focused on enhancing legal and institutional frameworks for the recovery of stolen assets. The group featured speakers from organizations such as The Corruption Eradication Commission (Indonesia), The Supreme Prosecutor’s Office (Korea), and Anti-Corruption Commission (Malaysia), as well as representatives from various divisions of UNODC, including Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism and Asset Recovery.
Working Group 3 specifically strengthened the participants’ understanding of topics including Preventing the transfer of proceeds of crime, international cooperation to recover stolen assets, and challenges in seizing/confiscating and managing stolen assets.
All three working groups were conducted in a hybrid format with some participants attending in-person and some speakers and participants participating virtually over Zoom. The participants also had the opportunity to network to strengthen international coordination and cooperation.
The guests in attendance were also provided with the opportunity to discuss and contribute to the outcome document, and their attentiveness and engagement in these discussions illustrated the effectiveness of the conference in facilitating the exchange of relevant ideas.
Overall, the conference aimed to further support the work of UNODC and its partner organizations in fighting corruption, and to guide policymakers and other regional and national stakeholders in developing programmes, policies and systems that are truly effective investments in combatting corruption in Southeast Asia.
The Regional Anti-Corruption Conference and Working Group 3 were part of activities funded by the Ministry of Justice of Government of the Republic of Korea. Footage (where available) and written summaries of UNODC events are publicly available via our website.
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