Flights delay anti corruption conference
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi was among leaders whose arrival to Kiribati for a regional anti-corruption conference was delayed due to flight problems.
The Pacific Region Anti-Corruption conference, scheduled to start on the 3rd of February in Kiribati, had been delayed until the participants all arrived in Kiribati.
According to one of the conference's participants who did not wish to be named, the conference was delayed because some of the participants were stuck in Fiji.
According to a press release from the Office of the Kiribati President, Te Beretitenti Taneti Maamau, the Prime Ministers of Samoa and the Cook Islands are among the leaders attending the conference.
The three-day conference is also attended by senior Ministers, Ambassadors, High Commissioners and senior anti- corruption officials.
“The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the Commonwealth Secretariat will also be represented,” stated the media release.
It also added that the conference has been convened after the President of Kiribati proposed the need for a regional Leaders’ commitment to anti-corruption during the global Conference of States Parties (CoSP) to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (U.N.C.A.C.) first in 2017 and 2019 and again through the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ meetings in 2018 and 2019.
“Kiribati has convened this inaugural regional meeting of leaders on anti-corruption to gauge commitment at the highest political level to drive a regional coordinated action on corruption,” said HE Te Beretitenti.
He added that it is in keeping with the national commitments to the U.N.C.A.C. and the Blue Pacific long-standing commitments to good governance and combatting of corruption embedded in a number of Pacific Islands Forum declarations.
“Under the theme “Pacific Unity against Corruption”, we envisage an integrated Pacific- driven approach that promotes effective strategies, fit for purpose frameworks and strengthened institutions to evolve from this conference.
“The Pacific Unity Against Corruption conference has four major sessions:(i) How Combatting Corruption Improves Delivery of Public Services; (ii) Building an Anti- Corruption Framework – U.N.C.A.C. as a template including reference to Laws, Institutions, Citizens Involvement & Engagement; (iii) The Economic and Social Impact of corruption on Small Island economies; and (iv) Role of Tradition and Culture in Combatting Corruption. There will also be dedicated sessions on Youth and Private Sector engagement in anti-corruption.”
The media statements also highlighted that the leaders’ Retreat on 5 February, will consider adoption of a new guiding statement for anti-corruption in the Pacific, the Teieniwa Vision.
“This statement can provide guidance as Pacific countries look to enhancing regional frameworks to tackle corruption and a unified position in preparation for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on anti-corruption in April 2021.
At the December 2019 global Conference of States Parties (CoSP) to the U.N.C.A.C., Kiribati co-sponsored with the Cook Islands, Samoa, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Australia and New Zealand, a resolution which was adopted unanimously: 11. Urges small island developing States to promote the implementation of the Convention at the regional level, including through greater collaboration with regional mechanisms, such as the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Project for Pacific island countries to develop a Pacific anti-corruption vision consistent with the commitment made by the leaders of the Pacific Forum under the Boe Declaration on Regional Security.