IMPLEMENT ACCOUNTABILITY PRINCIPLES, PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM GOVERNMENTS URGED

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (March 19, 2002 - PINA Nius Online)---Pacific Islands Forum governments have been urged to implement the eight principles of accountability to which their leaders have agreed.

The call came from Pacific Islands chapters of Transparency International representatives now meeting in Alotau, Papua New Guinea.

Transparency International is a global coalition dedicated to increasing government accountability and curbing both international and national corruption.

The Pacific Islands Forum leaders have called for a "stocktake" of progress in implementing the eight principles, a Transparency International (Papua New Guinea) news release said.

It said Transparency International Pacific chapters called on Forum members to release to their citizens the findings of the Forum Secretariat "stocktake" report.

This will allow the general public of each Pacific Islands Forum country to be aware of the level to which these principles have been implemented, they said.

"Without these principles being implemented it will not be possible for citizens to know how public funds are being used," said Sir Anthony Siaguru, who chairs Transparency International (Papua New Guinea).

Earlier participants in the Alotau meeting heard how good governance requires a collective and concerted effort from all sectors and regional cooperation.

Papua New Guinea Chief Ombudsman Ila Geno told the three-day Transparency International Pacific Regional Conference and Consultation: "The good governance of your country is not only the responsibility of an Ombudsman Commission or other law enforcement agencies. It requires a collective and concerted effort from all sectors of the society, as they are really all interdependent.

"Good governance must be applied in all sectors of your community and to organizations nationally, regionally and internationally."

He said the Alotau gathering was a regional landmark.

This was because at the end of it smaller island countries would be assisted to form Transparency International chapters for their nations, using Papua New Guinea as a model.

Mr. Geno said Transparency International (PNG) might:

Transparency International already has Pacific Islands chapters in Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, as well as those in Australia and New Zealand.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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