Suva, Fiji - The second phase of the United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) was launched today in Suva. It aims to support Pacific Island countries strengthen their national integrity systems in order to promote ‘clean’ governments and to create an enabling environment for trade, business, investment and sustainable development.
The project covers 15 countries and territories: the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, the territory of Tokelau, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
Funded by the Australian Government, UN-PRAC is directly implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji, and the United Nations Office on Drugs Crime (UNODC). In her opening address, the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Osnat Lubrani, emphasized that sustainable development cannot be achieved without effective and accountable institutions.
“Developing effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels and substantially reducing corruption and bribery in all their forms are targets for the SDG Goal 16. In that regard, the work that UN-PRAC does throughout the Pacific Region will without doubt be instrumental for enabling the countries to address these primal preconditions for sustainable development,” Lubrani said.
In her launching remarks, Australia’s High Commissioner to Fiji, H.E. Ms. Margaret Twomey said “I am confident that the second phase of UN-PRAC will continue the excellent work that Pacific governments, Pacific civil society, the UNDP and the UNODC have undertaken during the first phase of the project from 2012 - 2016”.
Ms. Twomey said that Pacific governments, citizens and businesses were recognizing the negative impacts that corruption has on society, including constrains to long-term economic development by increasing the costs of doing business and undermining investment. She added that corruption also impacted human development by diverting resources away from public services and reducing the quality of government goods and services.
UN-PRAC Phase II is a four year AU$5.7m project and will offer technical expertise, tools and knowledge, including support to peer exchange among stakeholders in the region. It will also draw on experiences of other anti-corruption projects being implemented by UNDP and UNODC, and use available international fora to share Pacific progress on UNCAC implementation and fight against corruption with the global community.
Emily Moli, UNDP Knowledge Communications Analyst, tel: +679 3227 504 / 719 1112; email: email@example.com;
Mere Nailatikau, Senior Manager, Media and Communications Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian High Commission, tel: +679 3388 381 / 7071 258; email: Merewalesi.Nailatikau@dfat.gov.au