KOROR (UNDP/UNODC) — Palau’s private sector entrepreneurs are reviewing their integrity commitments and strengthening internal business control mechanisms during a two-day Palau Chamber of Commerce (PCOC) workshop beginning in Koror today.
Supported by the United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) Project, the workshop is part of a series of integrity-strengthening efforts led by the Palau Chamber of Commerce (PCOC) during 2021. The UN-PRAC Project is a joint initiative by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji.
“We continue to advocate for businesses in Palau as we strive to strengthen our domestic industries and while being part of a global economy, we work hard for all businesses to be transparent and in line with international integrity standards that protect and benefit all people of our small island nation.” PCOC is delighted to be collaborating with UN-PRAC to use Codes of Conduct and other tools to help beat corruption,” said PCOC President, Irene Olkeriil.
The workshop will focus on reviewing existing and new Codes of Conduct, business start-up and operation requirements, as well as private sector interaction with integrity agencies, including the Office of the Special Prosecutor and the recently enacted new Corporations Act.
“These efforts by entrepreneurs and PCOC to prevent corruption and promote business integrity in the Pacific, are vital to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals,” said regional UNDP Anti-Corruption Adviser, Sonja Stefanovska-Trajanoska.
“Local entrepreneurs are keen to learn 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 the Teieniwa Vision,” said regional UNODC Anti-Corruption Adviser, Marie Pegie Cauchois.
The workshop includes presentations from Palau’s Special Prosecutor, April Cripps, former Palau President Johnson Toribiong, Attorney at Law, PCOC Board member Francisco M. Ueki, Jr and Palau business operators, facilitated locally by Fabian Iyar (who has headed agencies, including the Palau Visitors Authority, the Palau Community Action Agency, the Bureau of Tourism and the Palau International Coral Reef Center) and Lisa Abraham-Rengechel (former Director at the Palau Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Community Programs Specialist at the University of Hawaii at Hilo).
This year PCOC and UN-PRAC have also worked together to produce a SBDC integrity companion guide, which was developed after consultations with local Palau entrepreneurs, including women and young entrepreneurs, on how to safeguard their businesses and not fall prey to corruption risks.
UN-PRAC has also undertaken integrity strengthening with private sector national bodies, women and young entrepreneurs in Fiji, Solomon Islands and Samoa.
The UN-PRAC Project is a joint initiative by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), supported by the New Zealand Government