BRICS nations' prosecution bodies commit to enhance cooperation

Friday, November 17, 2023

The prosecutorial bodies of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) nations have committed to promoting good relations and to fight, amongst others, transnational crimes.

This according to a joint statement released by the institutions following the fifth Meeting of BRICS Heads of Prosecution Services.

The heads of the prosecutorial bodies met under the theme: “Strengthening international cooperation in respect of complex transnational crimes, with an emphasis on asset recovery”.

“We recognise the importance of promoting good relations and cooperation amongst BRICS prosecuting authorities to facilitate the exchange and dissemination of information, expertise and experience, including through the effective use of information technology.

“[Strengthening] cooperation in countering transnational organised crimes, and the need to implement relevant international agreements in this regard, in particular the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the United Nations Convention against Corruption,” the statement read.

The countries also committed to:

  • Increasing the effectiveness of our fight against economic crimes through the exchange of best practices and knowledge sharing on emerging trends;
  • Strengthening cooperation through collaborative information-sharing networks to combat illicit financial flows, counter safe havens, support the investigation, prosecution and recovery of stolen assets, and the effective confiscation and seizure of illicit proceeds of crime subject to domestic laws, regulations and international commitments of BRICS countries;
  • Exchanging information, financial information, texts of legislative and other regulatory legal enactments, as well as methodology materials, academic literature and scientific publications countering transnational organised crimes, including on the effective use of information and communication technologies to counter criminal activities;
  • Building up cooperation on the issues of legal assistance in criminal matters, including on identifying and return of criminal assets transferred abroad for the purpose of protection of property rights of citizens,
  • Establishing and maintaining a register of nodal points on international cooperation and asset recovery within our jurisdictions;
  • Exploring opportunities for mutual capacity-building, including conducting training programmes, sharing of current best practices applied in each of our countries;
  • Strengthening cooperation in areas of mutual interest, including through exchanges on the margins of relevant international meetings;
  • Implementing United Nations General Assembly Resolution 74/173 on “Promoting technical assistance and capacity-building to strengthen national measures and international cooperation to combat cybercrime, including information-sharing”, as well as United Nations General Assembly Resolution 74/247 on “Countering the use of information and communication technologies for criminal purposes”, and
  • Developing and adopting a universal international legal instrument on illicit assets recovery within the framework of the United Nations.

The bodies raised concern that a lack of cooperation “would not only breed impunity but also undermine sustainable development, justice, peace and stability, which are necessary to attain better lives of our citizens”.

“Acknowledging that no single country has the capacity to prevent and control transnational organised crimes, and that enhancing international cooperation amongst States is crucial for containing cross-border crime.

“Noting that effective collaboration between prosecuting authorities and other law-enforcement agencies is essential to combat criminal activity that undermines international economic stability and global peace and security,” the statement read.

The sixth meeting of BRICS Heads of Prosecution Services is expected to be hosted by the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation as Chair of BRICS in 2024. –