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ICAC unveils new chapter in the fight against corruption

2024-2-21

Around 600 distinguished guests from local and international communities gathered at the ICAC Building today (February 21) to witness the inauguration of the Hong Kong International Academy Against Corruption (the Academy), which marked a new chapter of Hong Kong’s anti-corruption work and the ICAC’s unwavering commitment to take the anti-corruption cause to new heights as the graft fighting organisation welcomed its golden jubilee.

Officiating at the ICAC 50th Anniversary Reception and Establishment Ceremony of the Academy, the Chief Executive, Mr John Lee commended ICAC staff, both past and present, for their collective effort and commitment to pursuing justice, which had not only ensured Hong Kong’s success, but had also inspired jurisdictions around the globe.

Mr Lee also noted that Hong Kong had been placed in a strong position, both within Asia and globally, in maintaining clean governance and social integrity, adding that rankings of various international surveys bore clear testimony to the ICAC’s solid efforts in eradicating corruption in the past five decades. He further affirmed that the Government would continue to work with every part of the community and international counterparts to foster a culture sustained by probity.

“Integrity is pivotal to ensuring the continuing prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, and realising our essential contributions to national development. The ICAC supports the country’s anti-corruption drive and policy. It also works closely with like-minded agencies around the world, to advance anti-corruption initiatives,” noted Mr Lee.

Also speaking at today’s ceremony, ICAC Commissioner Mr Woo Ying-ming noted that 50 years ago, the ICAC initiated a “quiet revolution” to turn the tide, and built a united front in the society to triumph over corruption, a social evil which was once thought to be incurable.

“Our mission to bring corruption under control requires not only resolve and dedication, but also a pioneer strategy which combines law enforcement, systemic prevention and public education. And our success would not have been possible without the resolute commitment of the Government, the unfailing support of the public, and the tireless efforts of successive generations of graft fighters who undertake their mission without fear or favour,” said Mr Woo.

Mr Woo added that the ICAC had leveraged Hong Kong’s unique advantage of strong support from the Mainland and extensive global connections to forge close collaborations with counterparts. The ICAC’s leadership in the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities since 2022, and its training cooperation with anti-corruption agencies (ACAs) from different jurisdictions showcased Hong Kong’s success story to the international community, underscoring the robust rule of law and the stable, corruption-free social environment.

At today’s ceremony, Mr Lee and Mr Woo, together with Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Mr Luo Yonggang, Deputy Commissioner of the Commissioner’s Office of China’s Foreign Ministry in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Mr Fang Jianming, Director of the Liaison Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Mr Deng Jianwei, Deputy Political Commissar of the People’s Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison Major General Wang Zhaobing, ICAC Deputy Commissioner cum Head of Operations Mr Ricky Yau Shu-chun, and Chairman of the ICAC’s Advisory Committee on Corruption Mr Martin Liao Cheung-kong, unveiled a commemorative plaque of the Academy, a new institution which aims to spearhead both local and global anti-corruption training initiatives and foster experience sharing.

“The Academy will offer anti-corruption training courses for graft fighters in Hong Kong and around the world. The Academy will also serve as an international research and exchange centre for anti-corruption experts from different parts of the globe. The Academy’s initiatives will, I’m confident, boost Hong Kong’s status as an anti-corruption centre, while promoting our clean society, social stability and the value we place on integrity and the rule of law,” said Mr Lee.

Mr Woo stressed that the ICAC would never be complacent nor would it slow down its anti-corruption efforts. Through providing training and facilitating academic research and experience sharing, the ultimate aim of the Academy was to ensure that corruption had no foothold, the corrupt nowhere to hide, and illicit proceeds no place to reside, he said.

One of the key functions of the Academy is to offer systematic and professional training for graft fighters worldwide, as well as local public and private sectors. As an inaugural course, the Academy, in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, is co-hosting the “Professional Development Programme on Financial Investigation and Asset Recovery” from February 19 to 27. The programme has attracted 35 anti-corruption professionals from about 20 jurisdictions, making it the ICAC course with the highest number of participating jurisdictions ever.

The 9-day course covers a diverse range of topics, including forensic investigation techniques, financial data analysis, illicit fund tracing, anti- money laundering, asset recovery, and international cooperation. It also features a 3-day study visit to the Mainland, providing participants with a first-hand understanding of the Mainland’s financial sector regulation and the latest developments in its anti-corruption efforts.

Following today’s ceremony, Mr Lee met with course participants and chatted with them about their expectations and feedback on the training. He expressed his anticipation that participants would benefit from the course, particularly the three-day study visit to the Mainland, and apply the knowledge gained to further enhance the anti-corruption capacities in their respective countries and regions, and contribute to the global graft-fighting cause.

Apart from providing training to local organisations and overseas ACAs, the Academy will also serve as a platform for academic research and facilitate the exchange of experiences, inviting experts from around the world to share best practices and innovative approaches in the fight against corruption.

Earlier this morning, the Academy concluded memoranda of understanding with five esteemed universities in the Mainland, Macao and Hong Kong, propelling anti-corruption research and fostering talents exchange. Representative of the partnering universities exchanged the memoranda with ICAC Deputy Commissioner during today’s ceremony, as witnessed by Mr Lee.

The five partnering universities included School of Government of Peking University, Institute for Discipline Inspection and Supervision of Tsinghua University, Faculty of Law of the University of Macau, Department of Sociology of the University of Hong Kong, and Division of Public Policy of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The Academy would strive to strengthen cooperation with them through experience sharing and data exchange, as well as enhancing the training for anti-corruption talents.

For more details of the work of Academy, please visit its newly launched webpage (http://hkiaac.icac.org.hk).

The Chief Executive, Mr John Lee noted that integrity was pivotal to ensuring the continuing prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, and realising our essential contributions to national development.
ICAC Commissioner Mr Woo Ying-ming said the Academy would offer anti-corruption training and foster academic research and experience sharing to contribute to the global anti-corruption cause.
The Chief Executive, Mr John Lee (fourth right) and ICAC Commissioner Mr Woo Ying-ming (fourth left), together with other guests officiated the commemorative plaque unveiling ceremony of the Academy.
The Academy concluded memoranda of understanding with five esteemed universities in the Mainland, Macao and Hong Kong, propelling anti-corruption research and fostering talents exchange.
The Chief Executive, Mr John Lee met with participants currently enrolled in an Academy course and chatted with them about their expectations and feedback on the training.