UK Government to support UNDP prevent and fight corruption in the Pacific

The UK is providing £364,000 in funding to UNDP as part of the UK’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) Pacific programme, which will provide £2 million in funding support across the Pacific in 2021-22.

Corruption costs the global economy approximately US$2.6 trillion, or 5 percent of global GDP, each year. Corruption, together with tax evasion and illicit financial flows, costs developing countries approximately US$1.26 trillion each year.[*]

No country has a perfect record when it comes to tackling corruption. We all understand that corruption is bad and have an idea about what it means for our societies and economies. But better citizen awareness and access to information is needed to ensure greater oversight and transparency for communities, individuals and civil society. We all have an interest in ensuring that corruption is rooted out.

The UK government is working with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji, to strengthen anticorruption measures and institutional capacities to prevent and fight corruption more efficiently and effectively in the Pacific region. The project will also focus on improving citizens’ and civil society’s access to information so that they can better hold governments and public bodies to account.

While Pacific Island Countries (PICs) share a set of common challenges, the diverse patterns of corruption across the region suggest that anticorruption efforts need to be tailored to the specific social, economic and political circumstances of the various countries.

The project will be delivered Pacific wide, with a specific focus on Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Tonga in year one. The emphasis will be on supporting national level implementation of anticorruption measures while also maintaining regional and international commitments and accountability. Sub-regional cooperation and exchange of practices will also be forged through the project.

British High Commissioner to Fiji, H.E. George Edgar said, “I’m delighted that we will be working with UNDP to support governments in the Pacific region to deal effectively with the threat of corruption and to ensure that it does not divert resources that are needed to provide essential services and build a sustainable future”.

Mr Levan Bouadze, Resident Representative of UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji said, “UNDP is pleased to continue to support Pacific countries in their efforts to combat corruption and promote good governance practices.  This programme is in support of the high-level political commitments set out in the Teieniwa Vision of Pacific Unity against Corruption adopted by 18 Pacific Islands Forum Leaders as the regional roadmap at the Leaders Forum in February 2021.”

“We are grateful to the UK Government for this strategic partnership with UNDP on advancing the anticorruption agenda, so that together we improve the development outcomes for the people in the Pacific,” added Mr Bouadze.

Mr Bouadze acknowledged and appreciated the achievements made through the very important and substantive investments in the anticorruption agenda in the Pacific by the Governments of Australia and New Zealand, which the project builds on and complements.

The long-term goal of the project is to contribute to building peaceful, just, and inclusive societies in line with the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals in which governments are accountable to their citizens for the way they make decisions and manage public funds.