Fighting corruption

PACIFIC Parliamentarians will meet in Nadi this week to discuss ways to step up anti-corruption initiatives and engage more strongly with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).

Global Organization of Parliamentarians against Corruption Oceania chair John Hyde said: “Our region has been buoyed by the Tongan Parliament’s unanimous vote to establish the Pacific’s first Standing Committee on Anti-Corruption so the time is right for Pacific MPs to examine how they can fast-track more initiatives.”

Tonga is one of the five remaining Pacific nations yet to sign on to the UNCAC, and the GOPAC along with the United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) project are working with parliamentarians from across the Pacific in a two-day workshop on UNCAC and parliamentary oversight in Nadi.

“GOPAC strongly believes in the primacy of parliamentarians affecting change and we’re delighted that MPs from the five Pacific countries yet to sign onto UNCAC are willingly attending our workshop which will be opened by the Fijian President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau with a keynote speech by Fiji’s Speaker Dr Jiko Luveni,” said Mr Hyde.

Mr Hyde praised the commitment of Australia for supporting the UN-PRAC project, a four-year $US4.3 million ($F9m) project in the 15 Pacific nations.

GOPAC Tonga chair Lord Fusitu’a, who is also participating in the workshop said MPs in the Pacific wanted to enhance anti-corruption policies, laws and institutions.

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