AN EFFECTIVE INTERNATIONAL LEGAL INSTRUMENT AGAINST CORRUPTION
The agenda item “An Effective International Legal Instrument Against Corruption” was introduced into the agenda of AALCO by the then Secretary-General at its Forty-First Annual Session held at Abuja, Nigeria in 2001. This introduction had coincided with the efforts of the UN General Assembly to adopt an international Convention on corruption. In its Resolution 55/61 adopted in 2001, the General Assembly established an Ad Hoc Committee for the Negotiation of a Convention against Corruption. That resolution also outlined a preparatory process designed to ensure the widest possible involvement of Governments through intergovernmental bodies. It is important to note that the Ad Hoc Committee was an open-ended body and was consistently attended by a very high number of delegations from different countries.
It was at this stage that AALCO had joined itself with the workings of the Ad Hoc Committee with the aim of influencing the negotiation process by giving the common concerns of the Asian-African States to it. AALCO’s concerns were well in tune with the reality that corruption, though found in all countries, big and small, rich and poor, is a massive problem in developing societies.
The Ad Hoc Committee held seven Sessions to successfully complete the negotiations and the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) was adopted through consensus by the General Assembly in October 2003. The UNCAC came into force in 2005 and is a powerful weapon in the armoury of the international community in its fight against corruption.
AALCO has been regularly deliberating on various aspects of the UNCAC during its Annual Sessions, with the objective of promoting the domestic implementation aspects of the UNCAC in its Member States. It has also been very vocal in promoting the cause of the UNCAC by adopting resolutions at its Annual Sessions encouraging its Member States to ratify the Convention.