Nepal fails to ratify UN accord

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, April 28:

The majority of UN members states, including Nepal, has failed to ratify a UN convention against corruption, according to diplomatic sources. This was revealed at a UN meeting held in Bangkok from April 18 to 25. According to United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), the meeting called on all member states that had not yet done effective work on curbing corruption and criminal activities to ratify the 11th UN Convention against corruption. In order to curb corruption, the meeting recognised the need to promote a culture of integrity and accountability in both public and private sector. Member nations had emphasised the need to adopt measures to facilitate asset recovery, consistent with the principles of that convention.

On behalf of Nepal, two experts took part at the ‘UN Convention against Crime’. Kedar Poudel, joint secretary at the ministry of law, justice and parliamentary affairs led the delegation which is the authorised body to work on the issue. Ram Babu Shah, national information officer of UNIC, talking to The Himalayan Times, said that on December 10 2003, Nepal had signed the anti-corruption convention.

As a follow up measure, the cabinet here in a decision of 2004, appointed the ministry of law, justice and parliamentary affairs as a focal point and coordinator for the purpose of this convention. The ministry of law, justice and parliamentary affairs (MOLJPA) had formed a task force under the chairmanship of joint secretary of MoLJPA which has just completed its task and submitted the report to the government. However that Nepal has not been able to ratify the convention against corruption. During the meeting, a Bangkok declaration was announced. The Declaration addressed matters such as theft and trafficking in cultural property and illicit trafficking in protected species of wild flora and fauna. It noted with concern the rise of kidnapping and trafficking in persons, often committed with the objective of funding criminal organisations and terrorist activities. Apart from measures to combat those crimes, there was also a need for measures to provide adequate assistance and protection to the victims and their families. It also noted the concerns raised regarding the illicit removal of and trafficking in human organs, according to UNIC statement.

Despite misunderstanding on some issues, participating UN member nations adopted the Eleventh United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice unanimously.

According to the Declaration, member states reaffirmed their readiness to improve international cooperation in the fight against crime and terrorism at the multilateral, regional and bilateral levels, in areas including extradition and mutual legal assistance.

UN member states pledged to strengthen cooperation to create an environment to the fight against crime, including promotion of growth, sustainable development and eradicating poverty and unemployment. The Declaration reaffirmed the fundamental importance of implementation of existing instruments and further development of national measures and international cooperation in criminal matters.