KOROR (United Nations Development Program) â€” Senators and delegates in the Northern Pacific island nation of Palau held a consultation on anti-corruption to engage more strongly with the United Nations Convention against Corruption.
â€œThe United Nations Joint Presence Initiative in Palau is strongly supporting the work of the U.N. Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Project in conducting this consultation and this has fostered a strong commitment from Congress members in Palau similar to what weâ€™ve seen in other Pacific parliaments,â€ said U.N. coordination officer in Palau, Sharon O. Sakuma.
Senators, delegates, legal counsels and legislative staff attended the Joint United Nations Development Program, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption consultation on strengthening anti-corruption efforts.
â€œThe more we are open and transparent as a nation, government and parliament, the more we can contribute to creating a society where everyone gains maximum benefit from our economy, tourism and resources,â€ said Camsek E. Chin, president of the Senate, in opening the consultation.
Alexander Merep, vice speaker, House of Delegates, said that increased transparency must be accompanied by heightened accountability. â€œWe also welcome the opportunity in this consultation to receive a presentation by Palau Ombudsman Francis Llecholch on a proposed ombudsman bill for Palau,â€ said Vice Speaker Merep.
U.N. Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption adviser Annika Wythes emphasized that â€œparliamentarians have a key role to play in preventing and indeed fight corruption, often leading by example.â€
Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption Oceania chair and U.N. Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption consultant John Hyde added that there was strong interest from senators and delegates on learning about best practices and the role of parliamentarian-driven initiatives to build integrity and oversight of government.
The Australian government is supporting the four-year, $4.3 million U.N. Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption a project being implemented in 15 Pacific nations.