Pressemelding | Dato: 13.12.2006
Today employees in internation organisations enjoy diplomatic immunity which can protect them from being prosecuted for corruption. - We cannot allow a form of immunity that in practice gives protection to people who have been involved in corruption, for example in the UN system, said Minister of International Development Erik Solheim. (14.12.06)
Erik Solheim promotes French-Norwegian anti-corruption proposal
Today employees in internation organisations enjoy diplomatic immunity which can protect them from being prosecuted for corruption. “We cannot allow a form of immunity that in practice gives protection to people who have been involved in corruption, for example in the UN system,” said Minister of International Development Erik Solheim.
Mr Solheim is taking part in the Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in Jordan today. He took the opportunity to promote a joint French-Norwegian proposal for a review of the practice of immunity and certain other privileges enjoyed by employees in international organisations such as the UN and the World Bank.
As the situation is today, these privileges can impede the effective prosecution of corruption and thus in practice provide protection contrary to the provisions of the UN Convention against Corruption.
“The intention behind the immunity granted to employees in public international organisations is to enable them to carry out their duties in difficult situations such as conflicts and wars. It doesn’t make any sense if this protection means in practice that such employees cannot be charged for receiving bribes. We have to look into this in order to ensure the credibility of international efforts against corruption. This is why France and Norway have jointly put forward a proposal to start work on drawing up measures to ensure that the Convention against Corruption also applies to employees in international organisations,” said Mr Solheim.
The conference programme focuses on issues relating to the establishment of a mechanism to assist in the effective implementation of the Convention, technical assistance and asset recovery.
“Asset recovery is a key issue. We in the developed countries have a particular responsibility here. Enormous amounts of stolen money are concealed in tax havens and in protected bank accounts in our part of the world. We cannot accept this any longer. Laws and rules will have to be amended. This is why this question must be on the political agenda at presidential level,” said Mr Solheim.
International Development Minister Erik Solheim can be contacted via Press Contact Narve Solheim, tel.: +47 4829 9690.