Suva, Fiji - A new Anti-corruption Toolkit for women-owned, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Fiji, was launched today by the United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) Project.
“This toolkit offers practical guidance on what constitutes corruption in Fiji, what laws and institutions are used to prevent and fight corruption, and who you can ask for help, in line with international best practice found in the United Nations Convention against Corruption and Sustainable Development Goal 16,” said UNDP Anti-Corruption Adviser, Sonja Stefanovska-Trajanoska.
The Toolkit was developed after consultations with local Fiji women entrepreneurs on how to safeguard their businesses and not fall prey to corruption risks.
Speaking at the launch, Micro business owner of Rigi’s Mart in Tovu Village, Rigieta Nakoivalu, was appreciative of the information made available in the toolkit and how it impacted her business.
“Each year we find that laws and regulations are developed to help protect our businesses and customers, so we requested that this information is made available to us in the toolkit,” said Nakoivalu.
“When you are running your own business plus looking after your own family and sometimes other people’s children as well, you don’t want to deal with extra problems because some people are cheating and not playing by the same rules.”
She added, “This toolkit will help us understand our rights as business operators and help us when we have to deal with suppliers, other vendors and Government regulations.”
Chairwoman of Women Entrepreneurs Business Council (WEBC), Mrs Eseta Nadakuitavuki said, “Women entrepreneurs not only play a crucial role in the community but also contribute positively to the national economy, WEBC is delighted to be collaborating with UN-PRAC to enable an early detection and prevention of toxic conditions like corruption."
Training on the implementation of the toolkit for trainers from the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation (FCEF) will be held in Fiji later this month, and UN-PRAC has been asked to assist women entrepreneurs in other Pacific countries with similar capacity-building.
“Corruption can have a devastating impact on local business, arguably now more than ever during COVID-19, and this toolkit offers advice on how to protect your business from corrupt practices that women entrepreneurs identified they were confronting,” said UNODC’s Regional Anti-Corruption Adviser in the Pacific, Mrs. Annika Wythes.
The new toolkit can be viewed by clicking here.
The UN-PRAC Project, a joint initiative by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), supported by the Australian Government and the New Zealand Aid Programme, produced the new toolkit with contributions from the Women Entrepreneurs Business Council (WEBC), the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation (FCEF), the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission, and the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC).
UNODC works to counter drugs, crime, terrorism and corruption. It mobilizes and promotes regional and transnational cooperation to confront these threats. Specific efforts are made to target the world’s most vulnerable regions, where the convergence of these issues threatens regional and global security. UNODC works directly with Governments, international organizations, and civil society in undertaking three key actions: field-based technical cooperation projects to enhance the capacity of its Member States; research and analytical work to increase knowledge and understanding of drugs and crime issues; and normative work to assist Member States in the ratification and implementation of the relevant international treaties and the development of domestic legislation on drugs, crime, terrorism and corruption. More at www.unodc.org or follow at @UNODC.
UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn more at www.pacific.undp.org or follow at @UNDP_Pacific.
Akara Umapornsakula, Communications Assistant, UN Office on Drugs and Crime Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, email: email@example.com; tel: (66) 22 88 1906
Jone Tuiipelehaki Raqauqau, Communications Associate, Effective Governance Team, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, email: firstname.lastname@example.org; tel: (679) 3227 552, cell: (679) 7836744