Challenges faced at the inception phases of independent commissions against corruption and best international practices were at the focus of the webinar held in Honiara on 18 February.

The webinar session was presented by international anti-corruption experts from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Anti-Corruption Commission from Timor-Leste.

The session provided an opportunity to the Solomon Islands Independent Commission Against Corruption (SIICAC) commissioners and its senior management to learn from similar experiences and presented diverse modalities in functionalizing independent commissions against corruption.

In opening the webinar session, UNDP Solomon Islands Project Manager Mr. Vardon Hoca re-iterated the importance of partnerships to combat the global menace of corruption.

“UNDP as the lead development agency is proud to bring international expertise and experience to support governments around the world to address corruption and its adverse effects in line with the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

"This webinar is a reflection of these efforts executed in partnership with the Solomon Islands Government and development partners and aims to help strengthen systems, institutions and civic engagement in their fight against corruption,” Mr. Hoca stated.

The chairperson of SIICAC Sir Frank Kabui during his presentation welcomed the support of the international partners and shared his experiences and challenges faced in establishing SIICAC.

“The challenges in terms of resources and capacity building are enormous but with the support of UNDP and development partners, we were able to begin operations, but, in my view, it will take some time before SIICAC is fully functional. That is why, continuous support is crucial to the success”, Sir Kabui added.

United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) Project Adviser Mrs. Sonja Stefanovska-Trajanoska in praising the cooperation and collaboration of the Solomon integrity institutions said “UN-PRAC is delighted to build on our previous work with SIICAC and further assist in forging South-South cooperation on the anti-corruption agenda. It is important for SIICAC to sustain this commitment and respond to the high expectations for anti-corruption results from the people of the Solomon Islands. We remain available for further assistance.”

“UNCAC provides a key pathway for new anti-corruption agencies like SIICAC along with the whole of society approach embedded in SDG 16,” added Zorana Markovic, Regional Adviser Anti-Corruption at UNODC Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

The webinar covered a range of topics that will support SIICAC to effectively discharge its mandates for the people of Solomon Islands and in line with recognized international standards. It also provided the opportunity for SIICAC members to learn about their experiences in implementing the relevant policies and legislation; role of the independent bodies in implementing national anti-corruption outcomes in line with the Colombo Principles, the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and Agenda 2030 and the SDGs; and enabled SIICAC officials to discuss further targeted assistance and learning needs of the commission.

The webinar was organized by UNDP and the UNODC under the Transparency and Accountability for the People of Solomon Islands Project (TAP) and UN-PRAC Project.

Source: UNDP