PM opens virtual regional media anti-corruption summit.

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PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare has officially opened the second Pacific Anti-Corruption Journalists Network summit.

The two days summit which kicked off yesterday in Tavanipupu, East Guadalcanal is hosted by the Media Association of Solomon Islands (MASI).

Speaking via virtual conferencing, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare congratulated the MASI executive for hosting the event.

The Prime Minister said media plays an important role in anti-corruption reporting.

“The media which was often referred to as the fourth estate plays a vital and pivotal role in our democracy. They watch over the other three estates and report, sometimes fairly but sometimes unfairly too,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that is why in order to be fair and accurate when reporting and exposing integrity and corruption issues, it is absolutely crucial that journalist must first understand how these institutions operate and how they relate to other institutions within the government.

Prime Minister Sogavare said understanding their functions and powers is extremely important, especially within the international, regional and national frameworks.

The Prime Minister adds that the decision by the Pacific Islands Forum to endorse the Teieniwa Vision in February this year is an important step by Pacific Islands Countries in combatting corruption.

“I would like to reiterate what Mr. Levan Bouadze, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji Resident Representative and that is the highest political leadership in the Pacific is committing to Pacific integrity, along with the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and Sustainable Development Goals, including to address implementation gaps in relation to SDG 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions,” he said.

Prime Minister Sogavare said the recent United Nations General Assembly Special Session against corruption (UNGASS) is a reflection of this regional commitment at the international level.

The virtual Anti-Corruption Journalists Network summit aims to enable Pacific media CEOs and owners to:

  • Understand the role of UNCAC, UNGASS and SDG 16 in boosting Pacific anti-corruption co-operation and promoting the Teieniwa Vision;
  • Share experiences and challenges reporting on corruption;
  • Discuss ways for further co-operation including with support from United Nation Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Project (UN-PRAC), Pacific Anti-Corruption Journalist Network (PACJN) and PINA in reporting on corruption prevention, along with UNCAC and Teieniwa Vision Implementation;
  • Provide leadership in promoting and delivering anti-corruption reporting in the Pacific; and
  • Increase the capacity of media to monitor and report on corruption.

The expected results at the end of the workshop is for journalists to have a better understanding of:

  • The roles of anti-corruption bodies and instruments, and how these can assist journalists to report on corruption;
  • How to increase reporting on UNCAC and anti-corruption by Pacific Island journalists and a transfer of knowledge on corruption awareness to other media in-country as trainers and through partnership;
  • And specifically, the participants will have clarity and understanding on how to assist their journalists to access more information and resources on UNGASS, Teieniwa Vision and UNCAC and the UN agencies working on supporting the anti-corruption agenda in the Pacific.

The two days virtual summit ends in Tavanipupu, East Guadalcanal today.