The 13th Anti-Corruption Dialogue continued the theme of working with increasingly diverse partners on the issue. Future Anto-Corruption cooperation will remain important to Vietnam and international partners.
The 13th and final Anti-corruption Dialogue co-chaired by the British Embassy in Hanoi, the Government Inspectorate and Ministry of Justice focused on anti-corruption preventative measures and asset recovery. Through thirteen dialogues since 2007, the ACD has galvanised the attention and effort of the government of Vietnam and the international community in Vietnam. Through that process civil society, the media and business have emerged as important partners that can help solve the problem.
The British Ambassador Mr Giles Lever welcomed the high level political commitment of the government of Vietnam to the agenda and the presence of the Politburo member and Deputy Prime Minister Mr Nguyen Xuan Phuc:
Although we greatly value the partnership which we have developed with the Government Inspectorate through the ACD, we cannot separate anti-corruption from wider questions such as how the Vietnamese state manages its public finances effectively, and provides basic services and economic opportunities to its people. We cannot separate anti-corruption from the question of business ethics and an attractive business environment. We cannot separate anti-corruption from good governance, including the role of an effective National Assembly, a free media and an empowered civil society in promoting accountability.
The mainstreamed approach on anti-corruption in the work of the Vietnam Development Partnership Forum will focus on the negative impact of corruption on broad economic development and service delivery to the poor and vulnerable.
Anti-corruption will be further incorporated into the agenda of the Vietnam Business Forum with a focus on promoting a clean business environment and supporting business-led initiatives to identify and implement international best practices designed to increase efficiency and reduce opportunity for corruption. The dialogue will be continued by the business community in each of the 12 Working Groups with an overall effort coming under the VBF Working Group on Transparency and Corporate Governance.
In his remarks, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc noted the Vietnamese government and Party commitment to continuing the fight against corruption. He recognised the importance of the media, civil society, business and the full range of government agencies and judiciary and welcomed their continued input.
Commenting on the future format of discussion on anti-corruption work, Ambassador Giles Lever stressed:
The UK has been the co-chair of the Anti-Corruption Dialogue for 4 years. We recognise that it is time for a change. There is broad consensus amongst international partners and with the government of Vietnam that we should continue to diversify and mainstream our engagement on anti-corruption in Vietnam into the future.
This move away from the ACD in its current format does not mean the international community believes the fight against corruption has been won. It does not mean the international community is turning its back on the issue. Rather, it reflects our desire to continue to engage with Vietnam on this issue through a wider range of platforms and mechanisms, while focusing our efforts on the areas where we believe change is most needed. We will continue to do all of the above in a spirit of partnership and friendship with the government of Vietnam and all relevant Vietnamese actors whether that be with civil society, media or business.