PILDAT team meets UNODC and International Reviewers of UNCAC Implementation in Pakistan

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June 02; The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) invited PILDAT and some other Civil Society organizations to meet with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Representatives visiting Pakistan from Vienna and the Country Reviewers for the second cycle of United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) from Kenya and Qatar in accordance with Article 13 of the UNCAC which recognizes the important role of civil society in the prevention of corruption.

The United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) is a first legally binding international instrument on anti-corruption. Pakistan is among 181 UN member states which have ratified UNCAC. A mandatory requirement under UNCAC is a review of implementation of its clauses for each signatory state. Officially, through a peer-review system, experts of two countries (selected through balloting) review the anti-corruption laws and procedures of another state to assess its implementation of UNCAC provisions based on the information provided by that state. In addition, independent parallel implementation review of a country by its civil-society organizations is also encouraged.

The senior reviewers and experts from UNODC currently visiting Pakistan for the review process discussed with PILDAT a number of issues related to the status of corruption in Pakistan. PILDAT presented a copy of the first ever civil society parallel report on compliance of Pakistan with the UNCAC to the visiting delegation. PILDAT had undertaken an independent parallel review of Pakistan’s implementation of UNCAC in 2021 to assess the effectiveness of our state institutions and mechanisms to combat corruption. The report looks at Pakistan’s implementation of UNCAC Chapter II (Preventive Measures) and Chapter V (Asset Recovery), as part of the UNCAC review cycle.

The PILDAT parallel report underscores that Pakistan has made good progress on aspects of implementation and enforcement of UNCAC and in performance of some relevant institutions. The report highlights that within anti-corruption and oversight framework, Pakistan has implemented several important legal amendments in recent years that provide a budgetary oversight role for Parliament and has advanced access to information on the federal level.

The key recommendation by PILDAT in its parallel report is the urgent need to strengthen oversight mechanism of Parliament for Pakistan’s implementation of UNCAC. The Parliamentary Standing Committees on Law and Justice, as well as others, need to play an effective and active role in the oversight of the implementation of UNCAC in Pakistan. It is the duty of parliamentarians to require the executive to follow national and international obligations, and for successive governments to regularly and openly report to the Parliament on the fulfilment of international obligations.

The independent PILDAT parallel report is intended as a contribution to the currently ongoing second cycle of official UNCAC implementation review of Pakistan. PILDAT, however, believes that more work needs to be done to effectively implement Pakistan’s anti-corruption system and our international commitments.

The report can be accessed globally and is available here: https://uncaccoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/Parallel-Report-PILDAT-final-27.10.21.pdf

PILDAT appreciates NAB in taking a positive step by inviting civil society to participate in the review process of the second cycle currently being undertaken. It was one of the key recommendations made by PILDAT in its parallel report that was adopted by NAB.


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