15 Mar / 2015Capturing corruption contest winners visit Fiji


NADI, 24 FEBRUARY 2015 (UNDP) —Young people can bring about cultural change in attitudes and behaviours towards corruption, have the vitality and perspective that needs to be heard, and the creativity and innovation that is needed to address this complex agenda.

Osnat Lubrani, UN Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, made these comments during the opening of the Pacific Youth Forum Against Corruption in Nadi this week.

“The UN works with governments to put in place policies and institutional frameworks for prevention and fight against corruption, but we see civil society, particularly the young population, as the creators for demand for accountability, and as future leaders who can build strong and progressive partnerships for building more open, efficient and accountable societies,” Lubrani said.

Welcoming participants and guests to the Forum, which included Peter Lothian, Second Secretary of the Australian High Commission, Suva, and Member of Parliament, Ralph Regenvanu from Vanuatu, Minister for Youth and Sports in Fiji, Lt Col. Laisenia Tuitubou, said that the Forum was an opportunity for the participants to broaden their minds and perspective on good governance and integrity, and exchange practical ideas, views and means to fighting corruption.

“We need to strengthen readily available mechanisms to promote accountability by all involved in youth work at all levels of their engagement. As you discuss issues pertaining to curbing, reducing and resisting corruption during these few days ahead – may you also ponder what you could do as representatives of your country and organization when you return regarding the status of your country’s national youth policy,” he said.

Lubrani emphasized that “We are determined to discover new and innovative ways to increasing oversight, access to information and accountability. We are counting on you and your fresh creative minds to help take us down that path of innovation,”

Tuitubou added that there is a need to meet regularly and establish a stronger network that will harness the Pacific’s collective efforts towards youth development.

“I hope that at the end of this Forum there will be a stronger network in the region between each country to establish stronger platforms in promoting integrity and preventing corruption in the Pacific with youths,” Tuitobu said.

Lubrani concluded by saying that the Forum was just a starting point in seeking long-term partnerships with Pacific youth in regard to the UN’s work on the prevention of corruption.

UNDP and the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in partnership with the Pacific Youth Council, are supporting the voices of young and marginalized people around the region who are speaking out against corruption and its corrosive effects on society.

The Youth Forum is an activity of the UN Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Project, a four-year joint initiative of UNDP and UNODC, with funding from the Australian Government.

Originally posted: PACNEWS

Pacific Youth Capture Corruption

NADI, 19 JANUARY 2015 (UNDP) —- Youth from around the Pacific region are being encouraged to capture images of the effects of corruption and to enter the images in a photo contest that could win them an all-expenses paid trip to Fiji to attend the Pacific Youth against Corruption Forum in February 2015.

The photo contest is one of the activities initiated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in partnership with the Pacific Youth Council as a build up to the inaugural Youth Forum to be held in Nadi, Fiji from 22 – 24 February 2015.

The photo contest is already generating interest in different countries in the region, with the organizers keen to encourage more youth from the region to share their visual interpretations and images of the phenomenon of corruption.

UNODC Specialist Annika Wythes says that “through engaging in the contest, we expect young people to start to become more engaged in the fight against corruption and we are asking them to upload on Facebook an image that best captures corruption in their community or nation.

“We will review all the entries after the closing date on 30 January and select three winners who will all be able to participate at the Youth Forum in Nadi” she added.

“We really want to encourage young people to participate in the contest and be part of the Pacific youth voice against corruption” noted Peter Batchelor, Manager of the UNDP Pacific Centre.

The contest is open to youth between the ages of 15 to 30 and will be run from the Pacific Youth Council Facebook page.

UNDP and UNODC are supporting the voices of young and marginalized people around the region who are speaking out against corruption and its corrosive effects on society. The support is being provided under the UN Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption project (UN-PRAC), which is a four-year initiative funded by the Australian Government.

The Forum is a unique event that will bring together 45 young Pacific leaders between the ages of 18- to 25-year-olds to examine possible ways to address corruption.

Participating countries include: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of Marshall Islands; Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu….PACNEWS

A Young Pacific Woman’s Perspective – SIDS


A Young Pacific Woman’s Perspective on the 3rd United Nations Small Islands Development States (SIDS) Conference and the UN Process in Apia, Samoa – August 28 – September 4th , 2013.

Inangaro Vakaafi, Fatamanu, Mutalau, Niue
Member, Niue Youth Council
Vice Chair, Pacific Youth Council
Member, Major Group on Women,
Member, Major Group on Children and Youth

I was born and raised most of my life here in the islands by parents who instilled within me a sense of obligation to contribute back to my community. So when the request came for applications for the 3rd SIDS meeting I accepted this challenge, more than happy to jump on the bandwagon to speak up for young people and women.

Little did I know this whole experience would test all my beliefs, patience and ability to sustain the energy towards the cause without getting lost in the process.

From the moment I stepped off the plane in Apia, Samoa there was excitement and a bit of hesitation unsure what to expect. However I had been told this was a once in a lifetime experience but I had no idea how different it would be. The long drive to Tiapapata made it clear that Samoa had really pulled out all the stops to host this high level UN meeting with the colourful decorations and the banners welcoming us. As a Pacific islander this was a proud moment for me because although it was Samoa hosting this was an opportunity for our region to shine.

We were accommodated at the Baha’i compound a beautiful and peaceful location that proved to be the perfect respite of solitude for someone who is accustomed to life on the go. It was a chance for life to slow down a few paces while I took time to appreciate even the smallest of things. So I had a few days to acclimatize then we had a training session with ILO to highlight a successful story for the Youth Employment Advocacy Initiative (YEAI) that depicted sustainable development through genuine partnerships.

Then the pressure was on to make our presence felt at the pre conference SIDS T.A.L.A.V.O.U Youth Conference. Over one hundred young minds from the Caribbean, AIMS and Pacific region all in one room to talk about the issues and find solutions to our common problems. The one day youth forum proved to be a challenge simply because for issues of young people that are all so important you need more than a day to deliberate and come up with solutions.

If young people are in fact integral in sustainable development then we need to acknowledge that with a space that is conducive and not limited by time constraints.

The next challenge was coming out of the youth forum trying to gather ones thoughts to try and focus on the next step ahead. There was the Major Groups and Stakeholders one day meeting that we were part of the Womens Major Group and the Major Group for Youth and Children. On top of that the Renewable Energy Forum all very interesting but each requiring a level of attention and understanding.SIDS has a whole new meaning for me now for so many reasons.

I realise that this is a process that has taken some 20 years, first with Barbados then followed by Mauritius and now the Pacific had a chance to host. At times it was difficult to think straight but now I have experienced the harrowing processes of the United Nations makes me realise that if we as young people want to be heard and the space has been given for young people, we really need to step up to the mark.

It has been an overwhelming but also very rewarding experience in the sense that I have a new appreciation for the level of commitment it takes to work through these hard spaces to endure until the end with ones sight on the goal. The whole process did get quite stressful and straining but knowing that I had a whole group of young people going through the same experience we found comfort in each other and reassurance we would get through. Having this major meeting in our own backyard in the Pacific made life somewhat easier that I did not feel so isolated.

In all of this discussion about sustainable development I realise that as advocates how do we sustain our own energy and keep moving with the many challenges we are faced with?  Something that also resonated with me was a quote that was mentioned many times over “If you want to go fast, walk alone. If you want to go far, walk together.” So the journey ahead may be long but taking one step at the time is progress and if we work together there is nothing that we cannot overcome.

So my advice would be for young people who want to lobby and advocate for youth voices to not only be heard but to also have influence on decision makers you are making a long term commitment and must be mentally and physically prepared for many challenges.

We need to be well versed on what the issues are and be able to articulate our thoughts in a way that is clear and concise but also to be willing to make some sacrifices along the way.

Life is what you make of it and life always throws you what you can handle, you just don’t realise what you are capable of until you are pushed outside of your comfort zone. Do not be discouraged but use each challenge as a lesson and a step towards progressive development.

So on that note here I am TRANSFORMING THE WORLD in my own unique way.

September 3, 2014. Apia, Samoa.

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