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Solomon Islands to better face corruption-related challenges

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Law enforcement and anti-corruption agencies officials together with mr. Katsumasa Maruo, Consellor of the Embassy of Japain in Solomon Islands, and UNDP officers at the opening of this week´s training; Photo credit: Daniel Gonzalez/UNDP
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Approximately 30 officials from law enforcement entities, integrity institutions and anti-corruption agencies in Solomon Islands are converging this week at the Investigative Training, held from 21 to 25 August in Honiara.

The primary objective of the investigative training is to strengthen the skills and knowledge in conducting efficient and effective investigations to battle against corruption. The training will equip participants with the necessary knowledges, tools, techniques, and best practices to carry out successful corruption investigations, promote transparency, and enhance accountability.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been actively supporting the Solomon Islands in its efforts to combat corruption and this training program is organized by the Transparency and Accountability Project (TAP), an initiative of UNDP Solomon Island Office, funded by the Government of Japan and the Government of Solomon Islands.

As Mr. Katsumasa Maruo, Counsellor of the Embassy of Japan in Solomon Islands highlighted in the opening remarks of the training: The Government of Japan together with UNDP will continue to work hand in hand with the Government and people of Solomon Islands in advancing the country´s mission in fostering transparency and accountability through this partnership. It is well recognized that before we can respond to corruption offences, we must detect and investigate them. Thus, this week’s training brings together government agencies and institutions that play a crucial roles in detecting and investigating corruption cases in order to conduct efficient and effective investigations.”

The participants at the training, which includes officers from various law enforcement entities, integrity institutions and anti-corruption agencies such as the Office of the Auditor General, the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, Ministry of Finance (Internal Audit), Director of Public Prosecution, Custom and Excise Division, and the Office of the Ombudsman showcase the nation’s collective commitment to tackling corruption. As highlighted by Ms. Nanise SauneQaloewai, Programme Manager: “This investigative training provides a valuable opportunity for the different state institutions officials dealing with corruption to not onlyenhance their skills, but it also addresses a key factor that facilitates corruption detection: transparency and access to information”.

The training program employs a combination of presentations, practical exercises, case studies, and knowledge-sharing sessions. Participants are engaging in role-plays and simulation exercises to apply the acquired skills in realistic scenarios.

The objective of the training it to ensure that participants are equipped with new tools and techniques to collect and analyse evidence in corruption investigation, demonstrate improved capacities to work collaboratively and in multi stakeholder approach, understand the importance of transparency and accountability in the fight against corruption and enhance investigative skills and knowledge to effectively tackle corruption.

Corruption undermines human development. It diverts public resources away from the provision of essential services. It increases inequality and hinders national and local economic development by distorting markets for goods and services. It corrodes rule of law and destroys public trust in governments and leaders. The UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) is the first legally binding instrument against corruption. As of 12 July 2017, UNCAC has 182 State Parties including Solomon Islands.

With the 2030 Agenda as a guiding thread, UNDP in line with SDG 16 works to reduce bribery and corruption and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions. UNDP’s approach aims to strengthening anti-corruption institutions and systems, supporting the implementation of UNCAC, mitigating corruption risks in essential sectors, and strengthening the collective actions of governments, civil society and the private sector in fighting corruption.

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for peace, people and planet. Learn more at www.pacific.undp.org or follow us on social at @UNDP_Pacific and @UNDP_Solomons.

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