Dear Mr. Rakesh Ram, CEO, HFC Bank
Mr. Rashmi Aslam, Deputy Commissioner, Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption (FICAC),
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for me to be here with you today at this event at the HFC Bank together with our strategic partners from the Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption (FICAC) to mark the scaling up of the public integrity and anti-bribery campaign in the private sector in Fiji!
Almost one year after our last year’s launch of the campaign, and despite all practical challenges posed by COVID-19, we are delighted to note that the commitment is sustained not only for continuation of the campaign to reach to all 50,000 public servants as initially planned, but also for embracing a new very important stakeholder – the private sector.
The UN Development Programme (UNDP), through our United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) Project, which is implemented jointly with our colleagues from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), has been a partner and supporter of this campaign since the very beginning.
This partnership with FICAC is in line with our mandate to support the national efforts to address the corruption threats within the overall good governance agenda of UNDP.
In this context, I am pleased to note that the anti-bribery and integrity campaign in Fiji is aligned with the Agenda 2030 and specifically its Sustainable Development Goal 16 which calls for countries to improve their governance systems and fight corruption. Fighting corruption is therefore not only an aim for itself, but it is also the most effective way to achieve progress in the country’s sustainable development agenda.
In this context, the anti-bribery and integrity campaign led by FICAC in Fiji is about bringing about a long-term systemic governance change, which cannot be achieved without commitment and action of all relevant stakeholders, including the private sector.
By knowing how to prevent and fight corruption, by opting not to accept or offer bribes, private sector has a critical role to play in preventing drainage of resources caused by corruption and bringing them back to investments in important development outcomes for the people in Fiji.
The commitment of the private sector to embark on this collective journey is important also because of its alignment with the UN Global Compact principle 10 derived from the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which calls for businesses to work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
By working against corruption in all its forms, the private sector will make a measurable difference for the citizens in Fiji.
UNDP remains committed to continued partnership with FICAC in the nation-wide anti-bribery and integrity efforts and we look forward to embracing more stakeholders and spreading the message and knowledge as loudly and as widely as possible.
Finally, I would also like to extend our gratitude to our current donor the Government of New Zealand for supporting these efforts and also extend appreciation to the Government of Australia for having invested in the anti-corruption agenda in the Pacific for many years under UN-PRAC.
I thank you for your attention and I wish you every success.