To mark International Anti-Corruption Day, the United Nations supported Pacific Island Countries to undertake activities that reflect this year’s theme, “Zero Corruption, 100% Development”.
Countries around the Pacific held a range of activities today to raise awareness on the importance of fighting corruption and the role various stakeholders play in this.
In Fiji, a youth network to fight corruption is being launched by Transparency International. In Solomon Islands, a walk against corruption has been organized. In Kiribati, Vanuatu, Tonga and Tuvalu, media campaigns, including talk back shows, are being held.
Manager of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Centre, Dr Peter Batchelor, said “Corruption remains one of the most significant barriers to reducing poverty, both in the Pacific and globally. International Anti-Corruption Day provides an important opportunity for raising awareness and building commitment to fight corruption, and the growing commitment to anti-corruption in the region is to be commended,” he said.
Ten Pacific Island countries are parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). Last month, representatives from all ten countries – Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu – attended the fifth session of the Conference of the States Parties to UNCAC in Panama. Their participation was supported by the joint United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Project (UN-PRAC). Throughout the Conference, the Pacific delegates were able to express the importance of anti-corruption in their country context and highlight their national actions to fight corruption. Delegates from the ten Pacific Island Countries were also able to learn from the experiences and lessons in fighting corruption from over 130 countries present at the Conference.