Ombudsman hosts 13th SEA-PAC meeting on Anti-Corruption
05 December 2017
Member countries of the South East Asia Parties Against Corruption (SEA-PAC) recently gathered in the Philippines for a two-day meeting with the operational theme of “Prospects and Opportunities to Strengthen Cooperation.”
The 13th Meeting of the SEA-PAC, hosted by the Office of the Ombudsman, was held on 27 to 29 November 2017 at the EDSA Shang-rila Hotel, Mandaluyong City.
As the current Chairperson of the Parties, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales led the members in this year’s meeting to focus on re-affirming the cooperation among the Parties under the Memorandum of Understanding on preventing and combating corruption, review and adoption of the Guidelines of Cooperation to strengthen and guide the regional cooperation against corruption, and strengthening of the SEA-PAC programmatic interventions and action plan in support of the ASEAN Charter and its purposes and principles.
In her keynote address, Ombudsman Morales acknowledged the anti-corruption efforts of the SEA-PAC in the region, which contributed to the colorful political history of the respective nations making up the ASEAN. She likewise expressed delight in hosting the event, recognizing that the “formation and fortification of SEA-PAC as an organization is a testament to the region’s commitment to prevent and combat corruption as corrupt practices have become more complex with modern technology.”
“With the massive adverse effect of corruption, there remains no other option but to confront it and pursue effective means in a concerted effort that will tackle and thwart corruption,” Ombudsman Morales encouraged.
“The war against the scourge of corruption must incessantly be pursued in all fronts. The battle does not end in jailing the corrupt, there remains an array of weapons in the legal armory that the region should utilize,” she added.
The meeting likewise highlighted the formal turn over of Chairmanship and Secretariat Function to Singapore, with Mr. Vincent Lim as head of its delegation.
The 10-member countries of SEA-PAC, comprising the Philippines (Office of the Ombudsman), Brunei Darussalam (Anti-Corruption Bureau), Kingdom of Cambodia (Anti-Corruption Unit), Indonesia (Corruption Eradication Commission), Lao PDR (State Inspection and Anti-Corruption Authority), Malaysia (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission), Myanmar (Anti-Corruption Commission), Singapore (Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau), Thailand (National Anti-Corruption Commission) and Vietnam (The Government Inspectorate) each made a presentation of their anti-corruption initiatives and achievements.
An invitational activity by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) was likewise held on the third day of the meeting that was attended by the delegates. The UNODC discussed the contributions that anti-corruption agencies in Southeast Asia had made in implementing Articles 10 and 13 of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). ###