NATION

Our MPs Join Corruption Fight

Several members of the Public Accounts Committee joined parliamentary colleagues from around the region in Nadi yesterday to discuss better ways of combating corruption in the region. Committee chairperson Biman
21 Jul 2015 09:32
Our MPs Join Corruption Fight
Speaker to Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni (sitting front, fourth from left) and President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau (fifth from left) with participants at the workshop on the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians against Corruption (GOPAC) at the Novotel Hotel. Photo: Parliamentary Media Unit

Several members of the Public Accounts Committee joined parliamentary colleagues from around the region in Nadi yesterday to discuss better ways of combating corruption in the region.

Committee chairperson Biman Prasad and members Balmindar Singh, Aseri Radrodro and Sanjit Patel were attending a two-day workshop on the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians against Corruption (GOPAC) at the Novotel Hotel.

The workshop also involves members of the standing Committees on anti-corruption in Tonga, the Joint Standing Committee on the Corruption and Crime Commission in West Australia and the GOPAC Parliamentary Committees in the Cook Islands and Kiribati.

Chief Guest, the President of Fiji Ratu Epeli Nailatikau warned that the effects of corruption needed to be addressed, sooner than later.

“In Fiji we have a number of descriptions for corruptions but despite the varying descriptions, we all know what they mean.

“Corruption can easily lead to the erosion of the moral principles and values of good citizenship in our societies.”

He said the cost of corruption globally is conservatively at a staggering USD2.6 trillion per year.

He said Fiji has stated its political commitment in the fight against corruption when it ratified the UNCAC in 2008.

“However prior to that happening, the strong determination of the Fijian Government to eliminate corrupted practices in Fiji saw the establishment of the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption.

“Corruption had been an on-going problem in Fiji; this was expedited by poor governance systems including the facilitation without question of directives from authorities under the context of respect, coupled with a culture of silence and a culture of gift-giving.”

Mr Nailatikau said that Fiji now belongs to the global club of 176 countries who are dedicated to working together to curve this global phenomenon.

Speaker to Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni also addressed the regional participants on the importance of parliamentarians promoting the fight against corruption.

“As Parliamentarians, we know corruption prevents our communities from reaching their true potential and destroys the trust that our people need in their governments to deliver services fairly, equitably and in a timely fashion,” she said.

She reiterated that fighting corruption needed a multi-stakeholder approach, something the Fijian Parliament was working on.

“The Parliament of the Republic of Fiji is taking a robust approach to our engagement with other regional and international Parliamentary groupings. Fiji has enjoyed a strong relationship with the UNDP Governance Strengthening Programme, which has greatly helped build the capacity of our MPs and Committees since the election late in 2014. We were also fortunate to have recently hosted the Africa Caribbean Pacific – EU (ACP-EU) Joint Parliamentary Assembly, in which GOPAC and UN-PRAC provided a briefing for Parliamentarians as part of the Assembly.”

 

Feedback: sheetal.prasad@fijisun.com.fj

 

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