The Permanent Mission of Afghanistan in Vienna today participated in the 8th Session of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on Asset Recovery of the Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) promotes the convention and its implementation.
Ambassador Erfani, while aligning his delegation with the statement made by the Group of 77 and China, made some remarks in his national capacity. He emphasized that “recovering the proceeds of corruption as a fundamental principle of UNCAC remains an important area of anti-corruption efforts in Afghanistan.”
The Ambassador continued by explaining recent relevant legal reforms and improved institutional frameworks in Afghanistan, such as the Afghan Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), which has been established in 2006. “The FIU increasingly plays a critical role in countering money-laundering and in facilitating the return of proceeds of crime, also through regional and international cooperation”, Ambassador Erfani noted. Another key national institution operating in this area is the High Office of Oversight, which also oversees asset declarations by government officials. To this date, almost 5,000 asset declaration forms have been entered into their database.
Furthermore, Afghanistan has recently signed extradition agreements with several countries in the region and those agreements have already yielded positive results in terms of successful asset recoveries and extraditions.
The Ambassador closed his intervention by recalling the cross-border nature of this dimension of corruption, calling for enhanced bilateral, regional and international cooperation. Due to the complex and multi-faceted character of the process of asset recovery, transfer of knowledge and capacity-building will be vital to effectively address this issue.