Stephens made this statement yesterday after the 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranked PNG at a 136/176 countries and territories with a score of 28/100.
“More needs to be done in strengthening and supporting integrity institutions that enforce best practices and regulations with a view to reducing corruption and promoting good governance.
“Equally important is that citizens need to demand accountability from public officials and speak up and report corrupt dealings with the public and private sector.
“Through the 2017 National Elections, Papua New Guineans have the opportunity to make things better for themselves by exercising their rights to vote accountable leaders.
“It is hoped that the much talked about APEC meeting in 2018 will have anticorruption as an agenda high on its priority list,” said Stephens.
He added that countries emerging from wars and civil strife have made great advances in the CPI while PNG remains where it has been for years.
“Timor Leste in the Asia Pacific region has leapt up the index by 7 points from scoring 28 out of 100 in the 2015 CPI to 35 out of 100 this year.
“If Rwanda, an African nation torn by genocide and civil strife a few years ago, is also able to achieve a score of 54 out of 100, Papua New Guinea, as a nation, must critically ask itself what it must do to be at least as well perceived as Rwanda," said Stephens.