International Workshop Spotlights Corruption

24 Nov 2004

Ha Noi - The issue of anti-corruption from global and local perspectives, including the UN Convention Against Corruption, was the focus of a discussion opened here this morning by the Government Inspectorate in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The two- day workshop brought together officials from various ministries, key leaders of the private sector and international experts. It was intended to provide inputs to the process of ratification and implementation of the UN Convention Against Corruption, signed by Viet Nam in December 2003, and the development of a long-term, national strategy on anti-corruption.

Both the Party and the Government of Viet Nam have encouraged prioritizing and strengthening the fight against corruption. “The fight against corruption, waste and red tape must be conducted by a set of comprehensive measures,” stressed the 9th Resolution of the Party Congress.  According to the Resolution, the focus should be on renovation of institutional arrangements, on enhancement of transparency, democracy and increasing efficiency and effectiveness of the public administration at all levels.

The Government Inspectorate has been assigned the lead role, in coordination with other government agencies, in carrying out necessary activities in order to ratify and implement the UN Convention Against Corruption. Minister Quach Le Thanh, General Inspector of Viet Nam, noted the urgent need to formulate and implement an anti-corruption strategy. “Such a strategy should focus more on formulating preventive institutions, considering prevention as strategic priority,” he said.

Speaking at the opening session, UNDP Resident Representative, Mr Jordan Ryan noted the negative impact of corruption on development. “Corruption hinders economic development, reduces social services, and diverts investments in infrastructure, institutions and social services,” he said.  “Corruption can affect people’s confidence in the political system. It makes people believe that in order to have a project, enter a good school, access health care services and get things done more quickly, they need to give money to concerned officials.  That further widens inequality, and undermines efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.”

Mr Ryan commended Viet Nam for paying great attention to the fight against corruption.  ”The fact that Viet Nam was among the first countries to sign the UN Convention Against Corruption shows the political commitment of the country to work at the national and the global level to prevent and fight corruption”, he said. “As a developing country, Viet Nam needs to devote all of its resources to its national development instead of letting corrupt officials and businessmen fill their pockets at the people’s expense.”

The workshop allows for the sharing of international best practices on formulation of national strategies, establishment of independent institutions to fight corruption, and on the involvement of the civil society and the private sector towards this end.

Contact Information

Luu Tien Dung, UNDP Programme Officer, phone 9421495 (ext 103)
or
Nguyen Viet Lan, UNDP Public Information Associate (ext 186)