Bhutan hosts the ‘ADB and OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia and the Pacific’ Event

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) hosted the 21st Steering Group Meeting, the 14th Regional Seminar and the 2nd Law Enforcement Network (LEN) meeting of the ADB/OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia and the Pacific.

The event was held at Le Meridien, Thimphu, from 8-10 November 2016 with the theme ‘Development with Values: Social Fence against Corruption’.

The Steering Group Meeting discussed the reports from members on Initiatives taken since the last meeting in Mongolia in 2015. It also sought suggestions for the Program of Work for 2018 – 2020.

The two-day seminar from 9-10 Nov. 2016 saw 91 foreign delegates consisting of anti-corruption practitioners, development experts, representatives from government and business from 22 member countries and territories. Sixty six national participants from government, constitutional bodies, autonomous agencies, CSO, private firms, Local Government, development partners and media attended the seminar.

The Hon’ble Prime Minister graced the opening session of the seminar, which was attended by fifteen dignitaries. In his keynote address, His Excellency shared the excerpt from His Majesty’s address during the celebration of National Day in 2014 and emphasized that Bhutan’s success in anti-corruption efforts is solely due to the efforts of our monarchs.

Hon’ble Prime Minister applauded Anti-Corruption Commission for achievements thus far and committed government’s support in achieving 20th position in TI CPI ranking by 2020. Further, he urged all people to support and fight corruption as it is the responsibility of every Bhutanese.

Acknowledging corruption as a transnational crime and importance of regional efforts to combat corruption, Hon’ble Prime Minister thanked the UNDP, ADB, OECD, SDC, TI and GIZ for the anti-corruption initiatives in the region and support to Bhutan’s anti-corruption efforts.

In promoting policy dialogue for strengthening capacity, fostering institutional network, and initiating reforms, twenty speakers shared their experiences and insights on following topics:

  • Gross National Happiness: Concept and Integration into plans and policies;
  • Credible and effective ACA;
  • Fostering multi-stakeholder partnerships;
  • Role of citizens and civil society in mainstreaming social accountability measures in local governments;
  • Impartial and trustworthy criminal justice system; and
  • Fostering coordination and information exchange in financial investigations and asset recovery among law enforcement agencies.

These sessions were chaired by senior officials from Royal Civil Service Commission, Royal Monetary Authority, Royal Court of Justice, Eminent Member of Parliament and Civil Society Organization.
The 2nd LEN meeting provided the forum for the law enforcement practitioners to learn from each other about modern effective methods of detecting, investigating and prosecuting corruption offences, anti-money laundering and tax crimes based on case studies. Participants also discussed about international cooperation and mutual legal assistance in the investigation of corruption cases.
The three day event successfully ended with almost all the participants expressing great satisfaction, notwithstanding potential for further improvement. 

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