UNDP-led program seeks to curb corruption in Solomon Islands
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Honiara – The UN Development Program spearheaded an inter-institutional workshop aimed at stepping up efforts to curtail corruption in the Solomon Islands through successful prosecution.
“The challenges of prosecuting corruption effectively are well-known and widely discussed, which we in the Solomon Islands share," said Rachel Olutimayin, director of the Solomon Islands' Office of Public Prosecutions. "Nevertheless, it is the responsibility of prosecutors, where possible, to endeavor to bring about successful prosecution of corruption when evidence allows.”
The workshop, which was supported by Japan, the Solomon Islands and the United Kingdom, provided a practical lens into the prosecution approaches adopted by the relevant integrity institutions, according to UNDP.
The workshop focused on strengthening the complementary role of institutions toward shared anti-corruption objectives, and provided an opportunity for regional exchanges of experiences with prosecution practitioners from Vanuatu and Fiji.
John Kouni, director general of Solomon Islands Independent Commission Against Corruption (SIICAC), noted that “pursuing successful prosecution of corruption requires close inter-institutional cooperation among relevant national authorities and institutions.”
He added that the exchange of regional and international practices is “very beneficial for us as anti-corruption practitioners and hence workshops like this are of critical importance. SIICAC remains committed to further working with UNDP on advancing this agenda in the country.”
The workshop was informed by a practical guide on prosecution for practitioners developed by UNDP based on insights and contributions from experts and institutions in the region.
All Pacific island countries have adopted the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, pledging to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which consists of 17 goals.
In the Pacific, several Pacific regional frameworks, including the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, and the Teieniwa Vision - Pacific Unity Against Corruption, outline the importance of anti-corruption and peace and security measures across the Pacific region.
"UNDP remains the key partner to the Solomon Islands authorities in their policy and institutional efforts to combat corruption, including through capacity-building, fostering regional cooperation and knowledge exchange towards advancement against the international, regional and national anti-corruption commitments," said Berdi Berdiyev, UNDP deputy resident representative and country manager for the Solomon Islands.
The workshop was supported by the United Kingdom through the Pacific Anti-Corruption Project, as well as Japan and the Solomon Islands through the Transparency and Accountability for the People of Solomon Islands – the Project for Strengthening the Capacities to Combat Corruption, both implemented by UNDP.