The Government has moved one step closer to delivering on one of its key policy initiatives, that of establishing Solomon Islands’ own Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
ICAC – a brainchild of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare – is a key policy initiative adopted by the Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) Government. It is collaborating with UN agencies and others on the initiative.
The Prime Minister will today officially open a three-day workshop in Honiara for government officials, parliamentarians, civil society organisations and private sector representatives i in the collective efforts to kick start the process.
A key aim of the workshop is to support the relevant stakeholders in guiding the discussion going forward on how to implement the draft Government policy. The workshop will build on the DCC Government’s draft anti-corruption policy initiative and will explore the proposal to establish Solomon Islands’ own Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
“This will be a good opportunity for participants to learn and discuss the common goal of improving our systems for the future – to fight the good fight today so that our children and grandchildren might live in a more corrupt-free society,” a statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister, said.
Workshop participants will also hear from the Papua New Guinean experience to establish the first Pacific anti-corruption strategy and a representative from the Anti-Corruption Commission of Timor-Leste.
The Government hopes the outcome of the workshop would move the nation beyond just having an anti-corruption strategy.
“It is a process so it will take time, but we want to start,” the statement said.
“The Solomon Islands is a State party to the UN Convention Against Corruption and has actively participated in the review of its obligations under the world’s foremost vehicle for preventing and fighting corruption,” said UNODC Regional Anti-Corruption Adviser, Ms. Annika Wythes.
In 2009, a mechanism for the review of implementation of the Convention (UNCAC Review Mechanism) was established. The Solomon Islands underwent a review of its implementation of UNCAC Chapter III on criminalization and law enforcement, and Chapter IV on international cooperation in 2013-2014.
In that intergovernmental peer review process, Solomon Islands was reviewed by experts from Iraq and the Slovak Republic. It is a confidential process, but in the spirit of being open and transparent, the Solomon Islands Government has decided that its UNCAC review report would be a public document.
The findings of the process will be discussed for the first time with all relevant stakeholders.
This week’s three-day workshop is co-hosted by the Solomon Islands Government, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
– PMO Press Secretariat