Fiji’s Attorney General Siromi Turaga has emphasised the critical necessity of a united and multidisciplinary approach to combat corruption.

During the two-day Pacific Anti-Corruption Regional Conference, government officials, experts, and stakeholders from across the Pacific region have gathered to address one of the most pervasive and destructive challenges of our time – corruption.

Turaga reiterated the responsibility lies collectively with all participants and stressed the need for a comprehensive strategy to tackle this deep-rooted issue.

He said corruption’s far-reaching consequences undermine the fundamental pillars of society, erodes government’s ability to serve the people and sows distrust in democratic processes, institutions, and leaders.

Fiji’s AG said the inaugural conference provides an ideal platform to share success stories and best practices in the fight against corruption.

“The aim of the conference is not merely to talk about the problem. But more so to emerge with realistic solutions and action plan, which are appropriate to the Pacific unique setting. Together. We can build robust frameworks that will strengthen institutions and enhance transparency and bolster anti-corruption measures.”

Turaga said through working together, all the different stakeholders can pool resources, share expertise, and implement comprehensive measures that leave no room for corruption to take hold.

“Therefore, the fight against corruption is not merely a commendable aspiration. It is an indispensable mission. If we are to secure a better future. Future for each and every one of us.”

In his address, the deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Dr Filimon Manoni has sounded a resounding call to action against the pervasive disease of corruption plaguing the region.

Highlighting growing geopolitical interests in the Pacific and the strategies of external powers, he urged caution in engaging with external partners.

“We must do this in a way that promotes or is consistent with and abides to the principles of good governance, the rule of law and democratic systems. While we welcome partners that align with us, we are at the same time are not naïve about some attempt. We want genuine partnership, not for expediency or any other reason. We can’t let this happen in our region.”

Emphasising the significance of prioritising the Pacific’s interests in all collaborations, Dr Manoni assured the audience of the Forum’s guidance to align engagements with the region’s 2050 Strategy priorities.

British High Commissioner to Fiji Dr Brian Jones emphasised the critical role of integrity in combating corruption.

Defining integrity as the ability to withstand pressure without compromise, Dr Jones reaffirmed the necessity of upholding strong moral principles and transparent practices in the fight against corruption.

Around 200 participants are part of the regional conference which ends today.