Nuku’alofa – February 7, 2020: 9am (Nuku’alofa Times): Tonga has ascended to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and government wants to further strengthen Tonga’s legal framework to better address corruption in all its form.
The Minister or Trade and Economic Development, Hon. Samiu Vaipulu attended the Pacific Regional Conference on Anti-Corruption in Kiribati earlier this week and made the annoucement there.
Hon Vaipulu highlighted that corruption is one of the hidden and detrimental forces to the on-going efforts of countries to achieve sustainable development and called for immediate and strategic mechanisms and actions to be undertaken to minimize and eliminate its significant economic and social impacts.
He emphasized that by strengthening the region’s respective national anti-corruption strategies, national anti-corruption authorities and the Pacific’s anti-corruption network, the Pacific can achieve Sustainable Development Goal 16, its commitments under the Framework for Pacific Regionalism and Boe Declaration on Regional Security as well as the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.
He announced that His Majesty in Council has approved Tonga’s accession to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption alongside Government’s intention to further strengthen Tonga’s legal framework to better address corruption in all its form.
Tonga was the only Pacific country who had not ratified the United Nations Convention Against Corruption before the meet.
Hon Vaipulu’s announcement was congratulated by leaders and representatives from the region as well as representatives from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes who were in attendance.
The Pacific Regional Conference on Anti-Corruption is the first regional meeting to be convened to focus solely on corruption under the theme of ‘Pacific Unity Against Corruption’.
The objective of the Conference was to establish a network on anticorruption in the pacific region and also provide an opportunity for countries to share best practices and lessons learnt in combatting corruption. Some of the Pacific Leaders attending the first anti-corruption meeting in Kiribati.