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G20 Anti-Corruption Ministerial Meeting, Saudi Support to UN Efforts

G20 Anti-Corruption Ministerial Meeting, Saudi Support to UN Efforts

Friday, 23 October, 2020 - 06:30
Photo Credit: Saudi Press Agency (SPA)

The President of the Control and Anti-Corruption Commission, Mazen bin Ibrahim bin Mohammed Al-Kahmous, has unveiled the Commission’s first steps towards joining the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. It has submitted an official request to join OECD, which is entrusted with combatting bribery.

In his speech before the G20 Anti-Corruption Ministerial Meeting, Kahmous said this step represents the genuine political will of the Saudi government to fight bribery in all its forms. It also expresses a full commitment to international cooperation in transnational matters.

The meeting was held virtually on Thursday through a video conference.

Riyadh’s initiative aims to cement cooperation among authorities assigned to implement the anti-corruption laws, Kahmous said, adding that the Kingdom allotted USD10 million to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council Dr. Walid bin Mohammed Al-Samaani asserted that the judicial authority is an integral part of the global war against corruption.

He listed four fields to exchange the best practices, including setting precautionary measures to prevent corruption in the public-private sectors, criminalizing all corruption practices that fall under the agreement, enforcing and implementing laws and policies concerned with fighting corruption, in addition to international cooperation and asset recovery.

For his part, Attorney General Sheikh Saud bin Abdullah Al-Mujib underlined the necessity of finding solutions to the limited reliance on joint investigations among countries in transnational corruption cases.

Further, Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf praised the initiative launched by Riyadh in pursuit of establishing a network for global operations, saying it is one of the most important anti-corruption initiatives.

The G20 anti-corruption ministers stressed the importance of the existing international framework to combat corruption, particularly the commitments and pledges stipulated in the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) agreement on combating bribery of foreign public officials in international commercial transactions and related documents, and the standards emanating from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

All these instruments include a solid set of measures countries must take to prevent and combat corruption, money laundering operations, and other related serious economic crimes.

The final communique issued by the Anti-Corruption Ministerial Meeting indicated the need for international cooperation in the investigations and prosecution of transnational corruption cases, including those cases in which the recovery of the proceeds of crime is required.

“Therefore, we commit to strengthening investigation mechanisms for corruption cases, and for communication and exchange of experiences in this field," it stated.

Further, the ministers clarified that each of the G20 countries has a national law in force to criminalize bribery, including bribery of foreign public officials, and work to strengthen efforts aimed at preventing, detecting, investigating, and effectively prosecuting and penalizing the perpetrators, as well as committing to promoting the integrity and efficiency of the public and private sectors.

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