SIR MICHAEL REAFFIRMS STANCE ON ANTI-CORRUPTION
FOR RELEASE 21 NOVEMBER 2004
Santiago, CHILE: The Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare The United Nations Convention Against Corruption is now an imperative for the international community to adhered to and implement.
"Experiences and lessons from the past shows that corruption can become a threat to good governance, and worst still, can change constitutionally established governments.
It is therefore imperative that a global approach to fight corruption must be strongly advocated by all member economies and at all levels of our societies.
The UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) is the pillar we must use in our fight against corruption. If we are serious in our commitment to fight corruption, the signing of the Convention is one of the ways forward.
In this regard, I am pleased to say that PNG will be signing the Convention before the end of this year. This will pave the way for our accession and implementation of the UNCAC.
It is also important that in the spirit of partnership, APEC must intensify its efforts to fight corruption through legal and administrative initiatives.
The reality is that although some of us including Papua New Guinea have in place laws and state institutions, we are constrained by resources and necessary expertise to adequately fight corruption.
The challenge is further compounded by the advancement in information technology, which makes it difficult to monitor highly complex corrupt practices (e.g. use of internet to do business transactions).
Papua New Guinea fully supports the fight against corruption and strongly believes that all member economies of APEC must be committed at the highest political level in the fight against corruption.
In Papua New Guinea, we are already taking measures to ensure and implement what is articulated in the APEC Course Of Action and 'Santiago Commitment to Fight Corruption and Ensure Transparency'.
We are strengthening our state institutions (the Ombudsman Commission and Auditor- Generals Office) to effectively take measures against those involved in corrupt practices and so that the rule of law applies. The work of these independent institutions can be further enhanced and strengthen through capacity building program.
We have also reformed our laws relating to the appointments of our senior civil servants to ensure that these appointments are based on merits."
M T SOMARE GCMG CH K St J Hulpekpek SSK ALW DSK GRN OBE