Group of 77 and China Statement on the occasion of the Third Conference of State Parties of the UN Convention against Corruption, Doha, 9-13 November 2009, delivered by H.E. Ambassador Eugenio Marķa Curia, Permanent Representative of Argentina

Mr. Chair,

I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. Let me first and foremost express our congratulations for your election to chair our deliberations, which we extend to the other members of the Bureau. Let me also thank the Government of Qatar for the initiative to host this session of the Conference, as well as for the warm hospitality and arrangements, which greatly contribute to the atmosphere in which we carry out our work.

Mr. Chair,

The Group of G-77 and China is fully aware of the particular significance of this third session of the Conference of States Parties, which will adopt the terms of reference of a mechanism for the review of the implementation of the UNCAC. The Group will continue to contribute constructively towards this end, and notes with appreciation, to this regard, the intense discussions that took place within the framework of the five meetings of the intergovernmental working group established by the Conference, as well as in the relevant open-ended informal consultations.

The Group wishes to reiterate its position regarding the following elements resulting from those discussions, which need to be preserved in the terms of reference:

- First, any review mechanism shall be fully consistent with the Convention as well as with the principles set out by the Conference in Resolutions 1/1 and 2/1;

- Second, all aspects of the review mechanism shall operate under the authority of the Conference, in accordance with Article 63 of the Convention. Accordingly, the main organ for the implementation of the mechanism shall be open to all States Parties of the Convention.

- Third, the review mechanism shall be a tool to assist State Parties in identifying and substantiating specific needs for technical assistance, as well as to promote and facilitate the provision of such assistance;

- Fourth, the review mechanism will require funding that ensures its efficient, continued and impartial functioning. To this regard, the Group reiterates its conviction that the review mechanism should be funded from the regular budget of the United Nations.

The Group of G-77 and China recalls that, although a main feature of this session of the Conference, the setting up of the review mechanism of the Convention is not the only reason for our presence here in Doha. Other issues included in the agenda also deserve our attention, in particular the follow-up of the work done intersessionally on asset recovery, prevention and technical assistance, matters which the Group considers to be strongly intertwined with the mechanism for the implementation of the Convention.

The Group of 77 and China wishes to underscore the fact that the return of assets is a fundamental principle of UNCAC, and States Parties are expected to afford one another the widest measure of cooperation and assistance in this regard. The Group notes with concern the continued absence of adequate knowledge and action to implement such cooperation and assistance. This poses a critical challenge to this Conference. The recommendations of the open ended working group on asset recovery are a step in the right direction. For the purposes of continuing this work, the group proposes to renew the mandate of the open-ended working group until the 4th session of the Conference of States Parties.

The Group of 77 and China believes that technical assistance is a crosscutting issue throughout the Convention, and its provision is an essential part of its effective and efficient implementation. The Group emphasizes that in order to promote the implementation of the UNCAC, States Parties should afford one another the widest measure of technical assistance, especially for the benefit of developing countries and their efforts to apply the Convention.

In fact, and as the Group has stated in previous occasions, the implementation of the UNCAC may be hindered if developing countries are not enabled, through technical assistance, to comply with the obligations deriving from the Convention. Assuring a sufficient and stable funding to the Conference and to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is thus essential to promote programmes and projects which provide, at the request of the benefiting country, the proper technical assistance to implement the Convention.

In this regard, the Group of 77 and China welcomes the recommendations of the Working Group on Technical Assistance, and proposes, pending a decision on the mechanism of implementation, that the mandate of the working group is renewed.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

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