Suva, Fiji - Fiji youth entrepreneurs will launch their commitments to achieve greater integrity in their business operations on 8 March, building on their 2020 Business Integrity Workshops supported by the United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) Project and the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation (FCEF).

The Young Entrepreneurs Council (YEC), under the FCEF, and in collaboration with the UN-PRAC Project, a joint UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and UN Development Programme (UNDP) initiative, along with key national stakeholders, will be officially launching the Outcome Statement from the 2020 Fiji Young Entrepreneur Integrity Workshops on International Women’s Day on Monday, 8 March in Suva, Fiji.

In response to COVID-19 in the Pacific, UN-PRAC has embraced the narrative of youth as game-changers and influencers with the capability and potential to lead the new normal in this current COVID-19 era and beyond. The workshops, with 56 youth participants including 27 females, also encouraged “collective action” as a process of getting groups of people and companies or organizations to work together to create a fair business environment with minimal risk of corruption and a level playing field for all.

The UN-PRAC project facilitated the workshops with the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation for these young entrepreneurs, using a toolkit developed by the UNDP Asia-Pacific Office aimed at unpacking the importance of business integrity, along with inputs from the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC), the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, the Ministry of Youth, and the Registrar of Companies Office of the Fiji Ministry of Justice.

“The Outcome Statement will be an important document for the YEC/FCEF and for all young business owners to safeguard their business and to promote business integrity among young entrepreneurs who plan to start a business or already started their business,” said Kameli Batiweti, FCEF Chief Executive Officer.

Workshop participant and owner of a bakery and farming business, Litiana Waqalevu, said, “As a woman from a rural area, I am grateful to have learned how important it is to operate my business with integrity. Honesty is the right way, and young people should show the way.”

“Corruption hinders entrepreneurship and innovation in society. With this Outcome Statement building from the training, we are pleased to note that YEC, in cooperation with the other relevant institutions, is sustaining and further institutionalizing the values of business integrity in Fiji. The established partnerships and the continued multi-sectoral dialogue on this topic are very important for the overall economic development of Fiji,” said United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji, Anti-Corruption Adviser, Ms. Sonja Stefanovska-Trajanoska. 

“UN-PRAC adopts a whole-of-society approach to integrity so it is important for young entrepreneurs to have a strong Outcome Statement to promote networking between existing and potential young entrepreneurs, along with FCEF and Government, and joint advocacy for transparent, effective and efficient services,” added Mr. Julien Garsany, UNODC Deputy Regional Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

The UN-PRAC Project, a joint initiative by UNODC and UNDP supported by the Australian Government and the New Zealand Aid Programme, is working on private sector integrity issues affecting, youth, women and all entrepreneurs with the FCFE and FICAC.

For more information or media interviews please contact:

Emily Moli, Knowledge Communications Analyst - UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji. E: emily.moli@undp.org P: (679) 3227 504 M: (679) 722 5301.

Akara Umapornsakula, Communications Assistant - United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, E: akara.umapornsakula@un.org  P: (66) 22 88 1906

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