Ending Corruption Key To Prosperity: UN

Papua New Guinea yesterday, Thursday 9th December, 2021 joined global celebrations of the International Anti-Corruption Day, marking the adoption of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2003.

Papua New Guinea was one of the first countries in Asia and the Pacific to ratify the Convention, in May 2007. International Anti-Corruption Day raises awareness on corruption and the role of the UNCAC in preventing it. 
PNG’s UN Resident Coordinator, Dirk Wagener said corruption is one of the key obstacles to achieving Sustainable Development Goals. It affects all of society, diverts funds from much needed basic services, leads to inequality and undermines trust in public institutions. 
Effective anti-corruption mechanisms and controls are crucial to protect public funds and access to basic services. 
The Public Accounts Committee of the National Parliament has undertaken several inquiries into the misuse of public funds and has identified corruption as a major impediment, highlighting the importance and value of independent accountability mechanisms in addressing corruption.

He said it is very encouraging that Papua New Guinea has made visible progress in establishing a number of key anti-corruption instruments over the past few years.
Practice from many countries all over the world has shown that independent anti-corruption institutions play a key role in an effective fight against corruption. 

The adoption of the Organic Law on the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) in November 2020, was a milestone that enabled establishment of the ICAC to become one of the key anti-corruption institutions in PNG. 
According to the United Nations, however, sufficient funding, resources and independence need to be ensured for the ICAC to be able to fulfill its important preventive and investigative role. Government, civil society and development partners are now rallying to ensure its effective implementation and to provide institutional and funding support to the ICAC.
Efficient whistleblower protection is one of the key mechanisms that can lead to greater accountability and transparency in both public and private sectors. 
In 2020, the PNG Parliament enacted the Whistleblower Act, but is yet to be fully implemented. Guidelines and procedures need to be developed to enable safe reporting of alleged corruption. 

Mr Wagener said it is also important to enhance awareness programmes for public servants and the citizens of PNG to understand how they can report corruption and be protected against retaliation.
As in many other countries, UN understands that the Government of PNG has recognized the importance of formal systems and procedures for asset and conflict of interest declaration for greater accountability and transparency in the public sector.



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