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Korean fight to end corruption highlighted at UN event

July 12,2017
The Anticorruption and Civil Rights Commission’s Vice Chairman Park Kyung-ho presented at a side event of the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development on Monday, New York time, the commission said in a press release.

His presentation focused on the strong resistance to corruption in Korea, as seen in addressing the political scandal involving former President Park Geun-hye, her confidantes and conglomerates, the commission said. After months of street demonstrations, Park was impeached and permanently removed from office, while others involved in the abuse of power and bribery scandal were investigated and prosecuted. The key players of the scandal, including Park, her friend Choi Soon-sil and Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong, are currently undergoing trials.

Vice Chairman Park also introduced the Moon Jae-in administration’s anticorruption policy direction and major policy tasks.

He argued during his presentation that the country overcame the crisis in a peaceful and democratic manner thanks to a capacity to fight corruption that exists across the entire society, including the executive, legislative and judiciary branches of the government and civil society.

He also said a strong public desire for transparency prompted the new administration to forge policies to eradicate corruption.

Park also introduced the commission’s measures, implemented in line with the new government’s policy. Among them were those designed to reopen the consultation council of anticorruption-related agencies, implement the recovery of illegal profits and better prevent conflicts of interest for public officials, the commission said. Stronger protection of public interest whistleblowers and reinforced regulations against improper solicitation by public officials of non-public officials were also explained.

The High-Level Political Forum is the United Nations’ central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals provided to all UN members. The presentation, held at the side event of the forum, was attended by government representatives from around the world, major international anti-corruption institutions and civic groups. Transparency International Chair, Jose Carlos Ugaz, were among the participants.

BY SER MYO-JA [ser.myoja@joongang.co.kr]