Freedom of information is a key element of the fight against corruption.

Manager UNDP Pacific Centre, Garry Wiseman made the comment at the launch of the Asia Pacific Human Development Report "Tackling Corruption, Transforming Lives" last night, which coincides with the week-long Freedom of Information Workshop for Pacific Policy.

Mr. Wiseman welcomed the announcement of Prime Minister Dr. Derek Sikua who had indicated that the intentions of his government is to establish an Independent Commission Against Corruption by 2010.

The 'Tackling Corruption, Transforming Lives' is the latest in series of human development reports focused on the Asia Pacific region.

The reports are also designed to complement the annual Global Human Development reports of UNDP.

Mr. Wiseman said that the reports recognize corruption strangles people's choices,

"It highlights that poverty and corruption go hand in hand, that it leads to the unfair distribution of income and inefficient use of resources, depends poverty and widens inequality."

He said that the hopeful message in the report is that it is the right time to act through out the region.

Mr. Wiseman added that there are indicators of changing social attitudes and a stronger political commitment to fight corruption and uproot its causes.