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Since September 2002, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) has implemented a regional anti-corruption program in Asia with funding from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. The program was originally designed to assist signatories of the Anti-Corruption Action Plan for Asia/Pacific, which was developed by the Asian Development Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. More than a decade later, ABA ROLI works with signatories of the UN Convention against Corruption and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation member economies to implement sustainable and impactful anti-corruption programming.
Our regional anti-corruption adviser (RACA), based in Bangkok, Thailand, provides technical assistance in support of anti-corruption efforts in selected countries, encourages coordination among existing anti-corruption activities, and highlights the ways corruption contributes to human trafficking, wildlife trafficking, illegal natural resource extraction and other transnational crimes. The RACA works closely with counterparts in governments, civil society and inter-governmental organizations to focus on taking specific priority steps to deter, prevent and combat corruption at all levels.
In February 2011, the Training and Development Institute of the Thai Office of the Attorney General (OAG) hosted a conference aimed at developing the capacity of high-level public prosecutors—current and prospective directors general from its central and regional offices. The OAG invited experts, including Charles Caruso, ABA Rule of Law Initiative’s regional anti-corruption adviser, to address the conference attendees on a number of transnational anti-corruption issues with a particular emphasis on comparative criminal justice systems. Caruso discussed the International Organized Crime Act, which was recently enacted in Thailand, focusing on how justice sector personnel can more effectively expose and address the intersections of organized crime and public corruption. Sixty Thai prosecutors and police officials and 10 prosecutors from other Asian countries attended the conference.
From October 27–29, 2011, ABA ROLI’s regional anti-corruption adviser took part in the 2011 Trans-Pacific symposium on dismantling illicit transnational networks to discuss best practices to combat illicit trade and criminal activity in the Asia-Pacific region. Representatives from 30 Asia-Pacific economies attended the symposium, which focused on the importance of information-sharing in addressing regional challenges and the value of inter-regional partnerships in combating corruption and illicit trade. Participants shared views on several issues, including targeting cross-border narcotics trafficking, counterfeit medicines and environmental crimes.
From September 28–29, 2011, Mary Greer, ABA ROLI senior criminal law adviser, representing ABA ROLI’s regional anti-corruption adviser in Asia, attended the seventh conference of the Asia-Pacific anti-corruption initiative. The initiative is led by the Asian Development Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and it provides critical leadership and infrastructure to member countries to garner and target limited resources to address corruption. Organized in cooperation with the Indian government, the New Delhi conference gathered more than 100 experts from 28 member countries, serving as a forum for establishing and implementing an effective, multidisciplinary anti-corruption framework.
From May 10–11, 2011, ABA ROLI regional anti-corruption adviser participated in an international conference geared toward combating the bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions. Co-hosted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission, the conference provided key players in the fight against foreign bribery with a venue to share best practices and common challenges, discuss anti-bribery legal frameworks and expand their networks. It also aimed to elevate the importance of anti-bribery measures on the global stage. The conference, entitled “Shaping a New World: Combating Foreign Bribery in International Business Transactions”, took place in Indonesia and brought together more than 400 stakeholders from 38 different countries, including representatives from more than 10 international organizations and bodies that focus on combating corruption.
In November 2010, ABA ROLI’s regional anti-corruption adviser participated in the second annual Trans-Pacific symposium on dismantling illicit networks in Christchurch, New Zealand. The conference, which was organized by New Zealand and co-sponsored by the United States, focused on the interagency cooperation in combating transnational illicit networks. The workshop brought together more than 100 law enforcement and other government officials from 23 Asia-Pacific economies and representatives of regional and international organizations.
In November 2010, ABA ROLI’s regional anti-corruption adviser traveled to Macao Special Administrative Region (Macao SAR) of China to speak at the fourth International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (IAACA) annual conference and general meeting hosted by the Public Prosecutions Office of Macao SAR. The conference provided participants with an opportunity to discuss such issues as international cooperation, extradition, transfer of sentenced persons, mutual legal assistance, law enforcement cooperation and joint investigations. More than 700 participants from 140 countries—including delegates from national and regional anti-corruption law enforcement agencies, and specialists and academics from international anti-corruption organizations—attended the conference. Click here to learn more about the IAACA annual conference.