Dili, Timor – Leste On Wednesday, 25 January 2012, the Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (CAC) Aderito de Jesus Soares convened a meeting to inform and update national stakeholders on the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) Self-Assessment Review process and the need to draft a national strategy for combating corruption. Among those in attendance were Prosecutor General, Ana Maria Pessoa, PNTL Second Commander in Chief, Afonso de Jesus, Inspector General, Francisco de Carvalho, representatives from Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dili and Baucau District Courts, the National Human Rights Commission (PDHJ), the Central Bank and civil society representatives included La’o Hamutuk, Luta Hamutuk, Justice System Monitoring Program (JSMP) and the HAK Foundation.
Participants at the half-day meeting unanimously agreed to continued provision of information to CAC as the leading agency for implementation of the UNCAC Self-Assessment Review process. Another outcome of the meeting was the formation of a working group composed of CAC, HAK Foundation, JSMP, Luta Hamutuk and La’o Hamutuk and it is expected to develop a term of reference for the drafting of Timor-Leste’s national strategy for combating corruption.
CAC Commissioner described the meeting as an important step to move forward with all relevant stakeholders in combating corruption in Timor-Leste. He said collaboration between stakeholders for combating corruption is imperative. During his presentation in the meeting, Deputy Commissioner for Investigation and Education Campaign Jose Neves informed the participants that as part of the First Cycle of the UNCAC Self-Assessment Review process, there will be a country visit by two-selected reviewers, Fiji and Namibia, and it is expected to take place sometime in April or May 2012. The First Cycle of the UNCAC Self-Assessment Review focuses on two Chapters, Chapter III on the International Cooperation and Chapter IV on the Criminalization and Law Enforcement.
In her remarks the Prosecutor General Ana Maria Pessoa welcomed the initiative positively and commented that the importance of national strategy should be treated as “state strategy/estratejiaestadu” to combat corruption—it needs active participation and cooperation of all stakeholders in the country.
Similar meetings are expected in coming months to continue the exercise of assessment review and to discuss the National Strategy of Timor-Leste in combating corruption.