UN pact tops anti-graft list

The private sector is calling on the government to amend relevant laws to comply with the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).

The proposal is one of the graft-fighting measures that the Anti-Corruption Organisation of Thailand (ACT) chaired by Pramon Sutivong is proposing to all political parties before the election scheduled for Feb 2.

On Friday, Mr Pramon led ACT members to a meeting with Democrat Party officials. He said the top priority of the crackdown on corruption is to bring Thailand in line with UNCAC.

UNCAC is a multilateral convention negotiated by UN members. It is the first global legally binding anti-corruption instrument.

In 71 articles divided into eight chapters, UNCAC requires states to adopt several anti-corruption measures that may affect their laws, institutions and practices.

These measures are aimed at preventing corruption, criminalising misdeeds, strengthening law enforcement and judicial cooperation, and providing legal mechanisms for asset recovery, among other details.

Mr Pramon said UNCAC calls for the recovery of stolen assets and the pursuit of the assets of former leaders and other officials found to have engaged in corruption as well as their extradition.

More importantly, it makes corruption subject to heavy penalties.

"Certain laws can be amended right away, while some may need more time," said Mr Pramon.

"But addressing the corruption problem will restore people's confidence before the election."

He stressed that any new government must make a serious commitment to tackling corruption, not just promises.

The ACT also wants the bribery bill passed as well as a law requiring state units to reveal public relations and advertising expenses to the public.

Mr Pramon said the private sector is concerned that the ongoing political strife will hit the overall economy hard, especially in terms of investment climate and consumption.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 04/01/2014 at 11:34 AM
The problem here is that no matter who chooses the judges or the police officers nobody will agree. They will all scream corruption just as now.
Discussion 2 : 04/01/2014 at 10:08 AM
Two years ago did the lawmakers in India discuss a new law against corruption. After several days with discussions in the Parliament was the result that they could not agree, and the proposal was withdrawn. As one of the MPs later stated: "If we had voted for the new law, we would all have to go to jail." I'm afraid that the situation is the same in Thailand.
Discussion 3 : 04/01/2014 at 09:46 AM
No matter what laws are put in place, if they aren't enforced, they are meaningless. A reform of the police force is desperately needed. Then a reform of the judiciary. Once these groups are (more or less) corruption free, laws won't be selectively enforced.

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