SOLOMON Islands celebrated/commemorated the International Anti-corruption Day today, under the theme: ‘United Against Corruption’, with hundreds of people from all walks of life, participating in the march through Mendana Highway yesterday, as a show of solidarity against corruption.
The march against corruption was spearheaded by the Solomon Islands Government and NGOs, supported by UNDP.
The large turnout and active participation of representatives from civil society, government agencies, private sector and other members of the public was a clear testimony of people’s concerns about the seriousness of problems and threats posed by corruption to the stability and security of the country. The march began from the car park of the Honiara City Council and concluded at the National Museum Auditorium where there were speakers and panel discussions on the theme of the day “United Against Corruption”.
The Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, as the keynote speaker, reassured people that the fight against corruption is the highest priority of his Democratic Coalition for Advancement Government (DCAG).
When delivering the keynote address Mr. Sogavare said to do nothing about corruption is not an option.
“As your Prime Minister, with the support of my Cabinet, we are committed to combat and rid our country of this malignant culture.”
The Prime Minister then officially announced the inaugural Chairperson and members of the newly established Solomon Islands Independent Commission Against Corruption (SIICAC) who will lead the fight against corruption.
“The roles of SIICAC include prevention and awareness, more importantly, it will also have an investigation and prosecution role for corruption offenses,” he said.
SIICAC Commissioners are Sir Frank Kabui (inaugural chairperson), Anika Kingmele (vice inaugural chairperson), and members: Ruth Liloqula, Waeta Ben Tabusasi, John Tuhaika Sr and Jimmy Seda.
The Prime Minister also thanked UNDP for persistently supporting his government in combating corruption.
UNDP, through its Transparency and Accountability for People of Solomon Islands Project (TAP) has been working in partnership with the Office of the Prime Minister and remains committed to supporting the Government in the fight against corruption.
Speaking at the closing of the IACD events, UNDP Operations Manager, Mr. Keswar Leelah said Corruption must be fought because it is a major obstacle to achieving both the goals of the National Development Strategy (NDS), including the Sustainable Development Goals.
“These are aimed at generally improving the well-being of people.”
The United Nations has set International days to educate the general public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems and to celebrate and reinforce the achievements of humanity.
Each international day offers many actors the opportunity to organize activities related to the theme of the day.
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged people everywhere to continue to work on innovative solutions to win the battle against corruption and to ensure that precious resources serve the peoples of the world.