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Digital technology and anti-corruption campaign in the Pacific



By Pacific Island Times News Staff


Deuba-- Regional leaders advise Pacific island states to embrace digital technology, but do so with caution.


“While we must adapt and innovate to keep up with the relentless march of progress, we must also be cautious when it comes to digitalization and technology," said Munkhtuya Altangerel, resident representative at the UN Development Program Pacific Office in Fiji.


"The digital revolution offers powerful tools to combat corruption, but these tools alone won't win the fight," he added.


Altangerel keynoted a three-day conference in Fiji, where anti-corruption officials gathered to discuss Information and Communication Technology as a tool to combat corruption across the Pacific.


"We need strong institutions, empowered citizens, and a commitment from Pacific Island nations to work together, and this conference offers the opportunity to forge a path toward a more transparent and accountable future in the Pacific," Altangerel said.

 

With support from the British government, via the UNDP-implemented Pacific Anti-Corruption Project, UNDP Pacific is working across the region to improve public financial management and address corruption.


This approach includes using technology to assist in budget preparation, promoting the right to information and accountability, and strengthening anti-corruption institutions and civil society engagement in social transparency.

 

The pace of technological advancement has been relentless in the 21st Century, transforming the way we live, work, and communicate. From the rapid proliferation of smartphones and the rise of social media to the more recent emergence of the widespread use of Artificial Intelligence has become an integral part of our daily lives.

 

UNDP, however, noted that those yet to be connected remain cut off from the benefits of this new era, and remain further behind.


In the Pacific alone, 40 percent of the region’s population remains "digitally excluded."


Connectivity, and the need to temper the view of digital as a one-size-fits-all fix will be an essential aspect of the three-day event.

 

"We see all over the world the horrible consequences of money laundering and corruption; it hits the poorest people hardest and compounds harm on the most vulnerable, including women and girls in our communities," Brian Jones, British High Commissioner to Fiji, said in his opening remarks.


Jones noted that illicit funds are used to enable a whole range of threats, including funding serious organized crime - trafficking of narcotics and cyber attacks


"In the Pacific we're working to increase the flow of climate finance to help mitigate the worst impacts of climate change and the use of mobile money for payments and remittances grows, so too does the risk that these areas can be exploited by criminal actors," he added.

 




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