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ICAC signs MoUs with UNODC and anti-graft authorities of four countries at 8th ICAC Symposium to exemplify international co-operation
     The 8th ICAC Symposium kicked off today (May 22) with the Commission entering into Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) respectively with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and anti-corruption authorities of four countries to exemplify international co-operation and exchange.
     The 8th ICAC Symposium was opened this morning by the Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, the ICAC Commissioner, Mr Woo Ying-ming and other officiating guests, namely the Deputy Secretary of Communist Party of China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and Vice Chairman of National Commission of Supervision, Mr Fu Kui; the Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Mr Zheng Yanxiong; the Head of the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, Mr Dong Jingwei; the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the HKSAR, Mr Cui Jianchun; Deputy Political Commissar of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison Major General Wang Zhaobing; and the ICAC's Deputy Commissioner and Head of Operations, Mr Ricky Yau Shu-chun.
     The three-day Symposium, entitled "Charting a New Path to Combat Corruption", is co-hosted by the ICAC and the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (IAACA) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai. It is one of the flagship events to mark the ICAC's 50th Anniversary.
     In his opening address, Mr Lee said, "Under the unique 'one country, two systems' principle, Hong Kong maintains a robust regulatory regime in line with international standards, and is renowned globally for its clean and efficient government, level-playing field for doing business, sound rule of law, a judiciary with independent judicial power, and zero tolerance for corruption. We are also at the forefront of the international fight against corruption."
     Mr Lee remarked that the ICAC had championed the fight against corruption in Hong Kong for half a century and had also worked closely with its counterparts around the world to tackle corruption. The HKSAR Government is committed to supporting the ICAC in widening its international network and co-operating with overseas counterparts to sustain Hong Kong's pioneering role in combating corruption.
     At the opening ceremony, Mr Lee also witnessed the ICAC signing MoUs with the UNODC and anti-corruption authorities of four countries, namely Kazakhstan, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia and South Africa, to enhance international anti-graft co-operation.
     Mr Lee said the presence of the UNODC, as guardian of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), and the national anti-corruption authorities of various countries in Hong Kong to finalise bilateral agreements with the ICAC exemplified the international co-operation and exchange that could make a difference, regionally and globally.
     In his welcoming address, the ICAC Commissioner and the President of the IAACA, Mr Woo Ying-ming, said following the inauguration of the Hong Kong International Academy Against Corruption (HKIAAC) in early 2024 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Commission, a robust tripartite partnership was formed among the ICAC, the HKIAAC and the IAACA.
     The Symposium, co-hosted by the ICAC and the IAACA, fully demonstrated the tripartite partnership in promoting international anti-corruption co-operation by connecting anti-graft counterparts worldwide to enhance their effectiveness in fighting corruption within the framework of the UNCAC. It also showcased the ICAC's commitment to fully aligning with the country's initiative to develop a Clean Silk Road with the concerted efforts of international counterparts.
     "The battle against corruption calls for our solidarity in confronting the challenges, now and in the future. This Symposium is meant to serve as a platform for us to reach such unity," said Mr Woo.
     The Symposium also serves as the 11th Annual Conference of the IAACA. Mr Woo noted that on the last day of the event, the IAACA would, for the first time, adopt a declaration named after Hong Kong - the "Hong Kong Declaration on Strengthening International Cooperation in Preventing and Fighting Corruption" (Hong Kong Declaration).
     The Hong Kong Declaration, which demonstrates the IAACA's ongoing commitment to strengthening international anti-corruption co-operation, emphasises the importance of global co-operation and the roles of anti-corruption authorities in effectively implementing the UNCAC and mitigating corruption. It also highlights the significance of the use of advanced technologies in fighting corruption, the participation and continued involvement of the public and private sectors, the engagement of the whole society in preventing and combating corruption, and the raising of public awareness of corruption and its adverse impact on societies.
     The Symposium has attracted over 500 representatives of about 180 anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies from nearly 60 jurisdictions. About one-third of the participating organisations are members of the IAACA.
     The Symposium was kicked off with keynote speeches on various topics: Mr Fu Kui spoke on entrenching global anti-corruption; Chief Justice Andrew Cheung Kui-nung, Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal, illustrated the role of the rule of law in combating corruption; the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna and Executive Director of the UNODC, Ms Ghada Fathi Waly, expounded on the threats and opportunities on the path to ending corruption; the Acting Secretary for Justice, Mr Cheung Kwok-kwan, made an in-depth sharing on the work of the Department of Justice in upholding the rule of law and backing the anti-corruption cause; and Deputy European Chief Prosecutor of the European Public Prosecutor's Office Mr Petr Klement, elaborated on his office's role in fighting corruption as a supranational actor.
     Over 30 prominent speakers, including representatives from anti-corruption agencies, regulatory bodies, justice departments, leading research institutions and international organisations from various jurisdictions, as well as those who have made remarkable contributions to the cause of corruption eradication, will share their insights and expertise on global challenges and strategies in anti-graft work on four main discussion topics at the Symposium, namely "Sustainable International Co-operation for a Shared Future", "Contemporary Challenges in Fighting Corruption", "Synergising Public-Private Partnership to Combat Corruption" and "The Power of Youth in Creating a World of Integrity".
     On the second day of the Symposium, Mr Ricky Yau will share with global anti-graft fighters at the plenary session on "Contemporary Challenges in Fighting Corruption" the ICAC's proven strategy in combating corruption developed in the past 50 years and the challenges ahead. Meanwhile, the Chairman of the ICAC's Corruption Prevention Advisory Committee and the Chairman of the Accounting and Financial Reporting Council, Dr Kelvin Wong, will chair the plenary session on "Synergising Public-Private Partnership to Combat Corruption".
     For the first time, young speakers from various jurisdictions will host the final plenary session, themed "The Power of Youth in Creating a World of Integrity". They will be joined by university and secondary school students, including non-local students studying in Hong Kong, at the discussion.
     Upon conclusion of the Symposium, the ICAC and the IAACA will jointly organise an anti-corruption training programme between May 24 and 28. About 300 Symposium participants and other representatives will attend training workshops on law enforcement, probity education and corruption-preventive mechanisms, and visit facilities of the ICAC Building. Over 50 of the participants will also participate in a study tour to the city of Changsha in Mainland China.
     Since 2000, the ICAC has hosted eight Symposia, which aim to provide a forum for corruption fighters and experts from different parts of the world to share their knowledge and experience.
     The IAACA, the co-organiser of the 8th ICAC Symposium, was founded in 2006 as the first global institution for anti-corruption agencies worldwide, aiming to promote the effective implementation of the UNCAC and foster international anti-corruption collaboration. Over 170 anti-corruption agencies around the world have participated as IAACA members or engaged in various IAACA initiatives. The ICAC Commissioner, Mr Woo Ying-ming, took up the IAACA presidency since September 2023.
Ends/Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Issued at HKT 19:35
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