Angola Press Agency (Luanda)
Luanda — The Angolan government recovered, since the beginning of 2019, more than five billion US dollars in assets domiciled in Angola and abroad as a result of actions against corruption-related crimes.
The information was advanced last Monday by the minister of Justice and Human Rights, Francisco Queiroz in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, during the 8th Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (COSP).
According to a press release, Francisco Queiroz explained that the government of Angola has benefited from the support of international partners, having also appealed to the Abu Dhabi forum participants for more efficient cooperation from the international community.
The cooperation, he noted, is related to the repatriation of funds illegally transferred abroad, as well as the transfer to the Angolan state of the ownership of assets that result from money laundering activities.
“For this reason, we have insistently defended that these important resources should be returned without constraints to the countries from which they were illegally withdrawn, so that they can be used to improve the quality of life of our populations,” he said.
The minister of Justice justified such stance with the fact that there are still some difficulties to get co-operation from countries where one finds illegally transferred capital that is wanted for repatriation.
“Some countries do not act smoothly and create some difficulties” said Francisco Queiroz to add that this has been a cause of heated discussions in the United Nations gatherings tackling corruption.
Therefore, Angola will align with the position taken by some countries with the same vision on repatriation of illicit assets, as defended by the Group of 77, China and the African Group.
He went on to stress that Angola also joins those that sponsor the draft resolution entitled “Strengthening Asset Recovery to support the 2030 Agenda about Sustainable Development”.
“We also support the draft resolutions of Brazil, Morocco and Pakistan. We believe that these initiatives, together with the other draft resolutions presented here, can help to improve international mechanisms for combating corruption and its effects,” said Francisco Queiroz.
The official expressed Angola’s commitment to the major themes of the Abu Dhabi Conference, especially the issue of assets recovery, preventive measures, technical assistance and international cooperation.
He made known that it is in preparation a process related to the evaluation of the second cycle of the Convention Implementation Review Mechanism, focused on chapters 2 (preventive measures) and 5 (asset recovery).
The Abu Dhabi Conference
The COSP Conference, which runs from 16 to 20 December, is the largest anti-corruption meeting in the world and brings together representatives of Member States, parliaments, intergovernmental organizations, civil society and the private sector.
The main objective of the conference is to make an assessment of the international struggle within the United Nations and partners against corruption and to see what constraints the international community has been facing in combating evil and to find common solutions.
The minister of Justice and Human Rights said that as a result of preventive actions, through moralization and awareness campaigns, as well as educational programmes in the media, nowadays there is greater consciousness about the level of damage that corruption can represent in Angola.
Francisco Queiroz added that in terms of concrete gains in the fight against corruption, the Angolan institutions are more specialized, adding that the Attorney General Office (PGR), the Criminal Investigation Service, the Financial Intelligence Unit, or the State Administration’s Inspectorate are much better prepared today.
“The courts themselves act with greater sensitivity. (With) a celerity vision more appropriate to the moment”.
The Angolan delegation participates in the event to gain knowledge about the global anti-corruption situation and how the institutions and domestic legislations on the matter are organized.
The Angolan delegation also intends to make a call for the strengthening of international cooperation in the fight against corruption in Angola and to convey its experience of the two years of the government of President João Lourenço.