Pacific Youth In Fiji For Three-Day Anti-Corruption Innovation Lab

Student, young people come together to brainstorm creative ways to address corruption

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, May 11, 2017) – Youth and students from around 13 Pacific Island countries had the opportunity to put forward their ideas on addressing corruption in a three-day Pacific Youth Anti-Corruption Innovation Lab meeting in Nadi, Fiji last week.

The Lab, used as a platform to embrace young people in the Pacific as invaluable partners in the fight against corruption, developed from a partnership between the UNODC-UNDP Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) Project, the Pacific Youth Council, UNODC's Education for Justice (E4J) initiative and the Washington & Lee University's Law School in the United States.

"The idea of the Anti-Corruption Innovation Lab is to provide a platform for young leaders from the region to get together and brainstorm creative approaches to increase youth involvement in the area of anti-corruption, thereby contributing to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 16 targets in the Pacific," explained UNODC's Regional Anti-Corruption Adviser, Maria Adomeit.

"We know that many of the youth present have taken innovative approaches in the way they do things. All our field interactions throughout the Pacific Island countries confirm that youth groups have brought new freshness and enthusiasm in the anti-corruption work in the region," said Dyfan Jones, Effective Governance Team Leader from the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji.

During the Lab meeting, the youth were encouraged to consider education as a tool to develop a culture of integrity, lawfulness and ultimately counter corruption, by exploring the role that schools and universities can play in the Pacific region. They also learned how young people could support these efforts to bring about change.

"It was clearly recognized that education is one of the most powerful tools to empower youth to demand and create a future they want and deserve," said Ms. Adomeit.

"We are excited to see how the participants will bring forward the issues they have identified as priorities."

On a global scale, the youth also learned about fighting corruption through the United Nations Convention against Corruption as the global anti-corruption framework.

They also discussed possibilities for youth to contribute to the implementation of the framework in the Pacific in four policy areas: citizens' friendly budget; access to information; oceans management; and the role of youth in resilience building and disaster risk management from an accountability perspective.

Matangi Tonga Magazine
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