Pacific leaders commit to anti-corruption vision
Pacific leaders and representatives have recognised the importance of leadership and political will in tackling corruption.
The Government of Kiribati announced some details of the political consensus around the Teieniwa Vision as one of the successful outcomes of the two-day Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Conference held in Kiribati last week.
The release stated that leaders and representatives endorsed commitments built on their national engagement with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (U.N.C.A.C.) and the Sustainable Development Goals (S.D.G.s).
“Documents of the Teieniwa Vision were signed by leaders and heads of delegations last week Wednesday evening during the official closing and farewell reception at the House of Parliament in Ambo,” the statement read.
This statement will be discussed and endorsed first by Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum in an upcoming Forum Meeting in Vanuatu this year.
“We have called on all Pacific Leaders to champion integrity, advocating for and implementing best anti-corruption practices through commitment to criminalisation of corruption and prompt, impartial investigation and prosecution,” said the President of Kiribati, Taneti Maamau.
If endorsed, the document could provide guidance to 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.
The Kingdom of Tonga was the latest country to join in the Pacific’s fight against corruption by joining in the United Nations Convention on Corruption.
A local representative from the Journalists Association of Samoa (J.A.W.S.), Lagi Keresoma, reported that the announcement was delivered by Samiu Vaipulu, Tonga’s Minister for Trade and Economic Development during the conference.
“Corruption is one of the hidden detrimental forces to our ongoing efforts to achieving sustainable developments and we acknowledge with great concern the significant economic and social impacts of corruption in our region,” said Mr. Vaipulu.
“The theme is timely and warranted in light of our similarity as Pacific Islander, and our ability to share best practices to commend corruption in our respective context".
He added that through strengthening the national efforts, corruption strategies and national anti-corruption authorities and anti-corruption network, the Pacific will be able to achieve their commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals.