UN welcomes Vanuatu's accession to the UN Convention against Corruption

29 Jul 2011

(Suva, Fiji) – On 12 July 2011, Vanuatu acceded to the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), becoming the fourth Pacific island country to become a State party to this ground-breaking international treaty.

“The ratification of the UNCAC by Vanuatu’s Parliament in 2010 is indicative of the strong support within the wider community to address and tackle corruption in the country.  The Convention will be invaluable in providing guidance to the Government and other key stakeholders in our efforts to do this,” said the Hon. Ralph Regenvanu, Vanuatu’s Minister for Justice.

UNCAC was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 31 October 2003. The Convention came into force on 14 December 2005, upon its thirtieth ratification.  With Vanuatu’s accession, UNCAC has now been ratified by 155 States, including PNG, Fiji, Palau and now Vanuatu in the Pacific.

“UNDP wishes to commend the Vanuatu Government for its leadership in acceding to the UN Convention against Corruption. Supporting Pacific Island countries to promote accountability and integrity in their governments and in their communities is a priority for UNDP,” announced Mr Knut Ostby, UN Resident Coordinator Resident Representative of the UNDP Multi-Country Office in Fiji.

UNCAC is the first international legal instrument of its kind and is a clear demonstration of global consensus on what State parties should do to prevent and combat corruption, to improve international cooperation in fighting corruption, and to recover assets. The Convention establishes a global framework that all countries can apply in order to strengthen their legal and regulatory regimes to fight corruption.

“Accession to the Convention though, is only the first step. In reality, the most important step is implementation – progressing the key reforms in Vanuatu that will ensure accountable, responsive and transparent leadership, by parliamentarians and officials themselves as well as the people of Vanuatu.

UNCAC recognizes that mechanisms to prevent corruption need to be put in place, and that these need to be complemented by strong laws and enforcement processes that ensure that corrupt people are punished for their efforts to undermine Vanuatu’s good governance,” remarked Mr Ostby.

UNDP works with countries through the Pacific region, as well as the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, which is the Secretariat to UNCAC, and regional agencies and community based organisations to promote accountability and transparency and support local efforts to tackle corruption.