Solomon Islands has joined the ADB/OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia and Pacific as one of its newest members.The country's membership was reaffirmed at the ADB/OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative recent meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The other newly admitted member was East Timor. Together, they brought the total membership of the Anti-Corruption Initiative up to 30 countries.
The Inspector General of Vietnam, Huynh Phong Tranh, welcomed Solomon Islands and East Timor to the organization during the meeting, which was attended by a local delegation led by Auditor General Edward Ronia.
Mr Ronia said that as a member of the Anti-Corruption Initiative, Solomon Islands will gain access to updated information on new developments in anti-corruption measures.
More importantly, he said the country, like all the members of the Initiative, will be obliged to start meeting anti-corruption requirements under the Initiative.
"It is worrying that Solomon Islands is still not as proactive in her anti-corruption developments as we could be," Mr Ronia said.
"With the increasing complexity of criminal activities in the world, it would be a sad state of affairs for Solomon Islands if she became targeted by international criminals as the weak link in the fight against corruption in the region."
Mr Ronia said the next step under the Initiative will be a self-assessment review on anti-corruption measures in Solomon Islands.
"A recommended panel of reviewers was being prepared for consideration by the Solomon Islands Government.
"Thereafter Solomon Islands, together with Norway, is scheduled to review Pakistan against the UNCAC Convention in 2013."
The auditor general said that as a member of the Initiative, the country will have direct access to the other member countries' anti-corruption laws, policies and practices to use as models for implementing similar anti-corruption arrangements for the Solomon Islands.
Mr Ronia said that it is important that Solomon Islands leaders demonstrate strong political will to fight against corruption.
The country's membership of the Anti-Corruption Initiative followed on from its accession to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in January this year.
Mr Ronia was accompanied to the Hanoi meet by Andrew Muaki, Director of Governance and Anti-Corruption in the Prime Minister and Cabinet Office and Jimmy Sendersly, Acting Director, Financial Intelligence Unit, Central Bank of Solomon Islands.
Source: Press Release, Government Communications Unit