VANUATU’S FORMER OMBUDSMAN CALLS FOR BETTER GOVERNANCE IN THE PACIFIC - May 10, 2001

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VANUATU’S FORMER OMBUDSMAN CALLS FOR BETTER GOVERNANCE IN THE PACIFIC

NADI, Fiji Islands (May 9, 2001 – Radio Australia)---Vanuatu’s former ombudsman, Marie-Noelle Ferrieux-Patterson, has told a Pacific media conference in Fiji that a free media is not enough to ensure better governance in the Pacific.

Radio Australia correspondent Sean Dorney reports that Ms. Ferrieux-Patterson, in a keynote address to the Media and Development in Pacific Island Countries Conference in Nadi, said her experience in Vanuatu had taught her that exposure of corruption did not bring it to an end.

"Ms. Ferrieux-Patterson was Vanuatu’s Ombudsman for five years. In that time she uncovered corrupt deals and made numerous recommendations that politicians should be sacked from Parliament and prosecuted. But she asked, ‘What was the result? Nothing happens,’ she said. ‘No one resigns, no one was listening, no one was arrested except the rioters. No one was charged, no one was prosecuted.’

"Ms. Ferrieux-Patterson said the media had reported her findings, but the prosecuting agencies (also have) to do their job, if standards of behavior in public life in Vanuatu are not to fall further.

" ‘The lack of consequences for wrong doing is corroding our society,’ she said.

"Sean Dorney, Radio Australia."

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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