The President of the National Anti-Corruption Commission “Nazaha” HE Dr. Khalid bin Abdulmohsen Al-Mehaisen, has commenced today the 16th of May, 2017 the work of the Country Review on the Implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This country visit is organized by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime “UNODC”), it is being held in Riyadh and will carry on for three days.he President of the National Anti-Corruption Commission “Nazaha” HE Dr. Khalid bin Abdulmohsen Al-Mehaisen, has commenced today the 16th of May, 2017 the work of the Country Review on the Implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This country visit is organized by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime “UNODC”), it is being held in Riyadh and will carry on for three days.
The President of Nazaha welcomed the UNODC experts, along with the experts of the reviewing states, from the Republic of Ireland and the Republic of Nauru, stressing in this regard that Saudi Arabia is keen to meet all the obligations contained in the UNCAC.
Also, His Excellency demonstrated that in 2007, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia adopted the National Strategy for Maintaining Integrity and Combating Corruption, believing that combating corruption requires comprehensive reform programs that is backed up by a strong political support and strategic content that is based on problem diagnoses and solutions, cooperation of government entities, civil society institutions, and private sector companies. The Kingdom established the National Anti-Corruption Commission to monitor the implementation of this Strategy, and to evaluate, assess and review its results, in addition to developing its work programs and mechanisms of implementation. Also, Nazaha was assigned to monitor the implementation of the obligations contained in international conventions relating to the protection of integrity and combating corruption – from which the Kingdom is party of -, most notably being the UNCAC.
With regard to the Kingdom’s fulfillment of the requirements of the UNCAC, the President affirmed that Saudi Arabia has, before ratification in 2013, studied all of the Convention’s provisions in order for it to be compatible with the applicable laws and regulations in the country. The Kingdom assembled a team of experts headed by the National Anti-Corruption Commission, and with the participation of concerned entities, which are; Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Board of Grievances and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority in order to answer questions and queries of the reviewing states experts (Ireland & Nauru); other related entities and agencies were invited, according to the UNCAC Review Mechanism, to participate in this Country Review, which are; Ministry of Civil Service, Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution, Council of Saudi Chambers (as representative of the private sector), and Saafah Foundation (as representative of the civil society organizations).
This Country Review program includes discussing the answers provided by the Saudi experts as well as discussing reports, statistics and examples supporting the implementation of the obligations and commitments contained in Chapters II and V on Preventive Measures and Asset Recovery from the UNCAC.
With regard to the Country Review, HE Dr. Khaled explained that Saudi Arabia is the only GCC country and one of the few countries in the world to conduct the second review cycle on Chapters II and V of the UNCAC within its first year. This undoubtedly puts the Kingdom in face of a great challenge, however, thanks to the wise attention of the Kingdom’s leadership with the UNCAC, a Royal Decree was issued to form a team of experts from key government bodies related to the Convention, this had a great and positive impact on facilitating the review process and in answering the questions and queries of the UN and reviewing states experts. Moreover, it is expected for these efforts to be classified as one of the best practices in fields of protecting integrity, combating corruption and promoting transparency in both the public and private sectors.
Nazaha’s President concluded his statement that the Commission draws its plans in accordance with the Saudi Vision 2030, and in line with the Kingdom’s international position as a member of the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group, hoping that Nazaha will become a pioneer in the UNCAC’s Review Mechanisms and Legislative Guides, and provides quality training programs to specialists from different states on how to perform the Review Process and fulfill the obligations contained in the UNCAC.
It should be noted that Nazaha held a workshop last month in collaboration with the UNODC to train and prepare the Saudi experts for this Country Review.