Tarawa, Kiribati 3 February 2020 –Leaders and representatives from 11 Pacific island countries are meeting in Kiribati on 4-5 February to explore options to advance Pacific unity against corruption, in the lead up to the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on anti-corruption in April 2021.

At the Kiribati Pacific Unity Against Corruption Leaders’ Conference, the United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) Project is coordinating research and discussion papers for the plenary meeting as well as the following Leaders’ Retreat on 5 February, which will consider the adoption of a new guiding statement for anti-corruption in the Pacific, the Teieniwa Vision.

The Conference has been convened after the President of Kiribati, H.E Te Beretitenti, Taneti Maamau, proposed a regional Leaders’ commitment to anti-corruption during the global Conference of States Parties (CoSP) to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2017 and during the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ meetings in 2018 and 2019.

“Corruption knows no boundaries, but united Pacific countries can forge a solid front to curb this,” said Anti-Corruption Adviser-Pacific for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Annika Wythes.

The Prime Ministers of the Cook Islands and Samoa are among leaders traveling to Kiribati, along with senior Ministers, Ambassadors, High Commissioners, and senior anti-corruption officials. The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the Commonwealth Secretariat will also be represented.

“This is the first time that Pacific Island Leaders and their representatives have had a dedicated opportunity to meet and focus solely on anti-corruption efforts and mechanisms in Pacific island countries,” said Effective Governance Team Leader for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji, Revai Makanje Aalbaek.

The Pacific Unity Against Corruption has four major sessions which UN-PRAC is assisting with technical advice:

  • How Combatting Corruption Improves Delivery of Public Services;
  • Building an Anti-Corruption Framework – UNCAC as a template including reference to Laws, Institutions, Citizens Involvement & Engagement;
  • The Economic and Social Impact of corruption on Small Island economies; and
  • Role of Tradition and Culture in Combatting

There will also be dedicated sessions on Youth and Private Sector engagement in anti-corruption.

The UN-PRAC Project Phase II is a four-year initiative jointly implemented by UNDP and UNODC with funding from the Australian Government to support 15 Pacific Island Countries to strengthen their national integrity systems.

For more information, or media interviews please contact:

Jone Tuiipelehaki Raqauqau, Communications Associate – Effective Governance Team, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji. E: jone.raqauqau@undp.org. P: (679) 3227 552 OR M: (679) 7836744.