The world’s major anti-corruption conference began this week in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, with Kiribati joining 152 other countries to advance the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and strengthen integrity responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Taneti Maamau delivered a statement online at the Conference of the States Parties to UNCAC (COSP 9), as Head of a delegation that included the Secretary for the Public Service Office and the Chair of the Leadership Commission. This is the third successive COSP where the President attended.
“Shortly after the previous COSP 8 in Abu Dhabi, just before the COVID-19 shutdowns, Pacific leaders and stakeholders met in Kiribati on the 4th and 5th February 2020 for the Pacific Leaders Regional Anti-Corruption Conference. It was the first such regional conference ever in the Pacific, under the theme “Pacific Unity against Corruption”, where we adopted a ground-breaking Teieniwa Vision, an outcome statement endorsed as a Pacific regional roadmap to address corruption,” President Taneti Maamau told the conference, which included a record 2,133 participants from governments, regional and intergovernmental organisations, parliaments, civil society, academia, and the private sector, in person and virtually.
“As Leaders and representatives of Pacific nations, we know how powerful our local actions can be as they lead to greater regional impact. Our ocean, our fish and our weather do not worry about national boundaries on a map, nor do transnational crimes, corruption, climate change and pandemics”, he added.
“In the Pacific we are using the framework of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) to guide us, and its peer review modus operandi fits our Pacific way of MARORO, respectfully listening and sharing.”
“We want to acknowledge and appreciate the on-going support and technical assistance in governance from UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and UN Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC), and from our traditional loyal development partners Australia and New Zealand and others in filling up the gaps were sound necessary,” he emphasised.
The Kiribati delegation has also co-sponsored a Resolution at the COSP on Strengthening the Implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption at regional levels to enable Pacific countries reinforce the importance of the Teieniwa Vision in the global context of anti-corruption efforts.
Kiribati also presented at a COSP Special Event entitled “Implementing a Pacific Pathway Against Corruption”, with the Chair of the Kiribati Leadership Commission, Uriam Timiti, detailing the country’s commitment to strengthen integrity in the nation through the national Anti-Corruption Strategy and other projects.
During the same special event, UNODC Pacific Anti-Corruption Adviser,Marie Pegie Cauchois, commended Kiribati’s commitment to participate in the COSP virtually, despite the major time difference and logistics.
“Kiribati has shown tremendous commitment to UNCAC, with the President personally attending and speaking at the past three COSPs. UNODC looks forward to further working with Kiribati to help meet the nation’s integrity objectives,” said Marie Pegie Cauchois.
Akara Umapornsakula, Communications Assistant – United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, E: firstname.lastname@example.org P: (66) 22 88 1906