Bangkok (Thailand), 9 December 2015 - Thailand's creative young minds will come into the fore during a special media award ceremony to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD). Jointly organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Thailand and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific (ROSEAP), the half-day event hosted at Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall draws over 50 participants and highlights the importance of empowering university students to be "agents of change" to motivate their peers and the public to support anti-corruption efforts in the country.
This year's anti-corruption celebrations centre on the theme of encouraging youth involvement by harnessing the energy and innovation of young people through the creative use of traditional and social media to expose and oppose corruption. The media award ceremony is a part of a sustained and ongoing campaign by UNDP and UNODC to raise awareness of youths on the corrosive effects of corruption on development and to cultivate in them the media and journalistic skills necessary to join the fight for a corruption-free society.
"UNDP places a strong emphasis on the importance of a media component in anti-corruption work. Moving forward, it is crucial to focus our efforts on empowering Thai students through training in investigative journalism and reporting. By equipping youths with information gathering and dissemination know-how in a more effective, yet simplistic manner, complex phenomena such as corruption can be understood with ease," emphasized Mr. Martin Hart-Hansen, UNDP Thailand Deputy Resident Representative.
Students, especially those from "Refuse To Be Corrupt" clubs of universities within the Thai Youth Anti-Corruption Network (TYACN) who participated in UNDP's Young Journalists for Anti-Corruption training programmes earlier this year were invited to submit their investigative multimedia reports detailing corruption drivers, dynamics and possible solutions. Selected work will be widely disseminated across various traditional and social media platforms including the official website of the Thai Youth Anti-Corruption Network (www.tyanticorruption.com).
Recipients of the Certificate of Recognition for youth contributions to anti-corruption efforts through multimedia projects include outstanding undergraduates from Bangkok University (BU), Srinakharinwirot University (SWU) and Ubon Ratchathani University (UBU). The three short films have commonly underscored the root causes of corruption and its pervasiveness in many facets of Thai society.
"Our film demonstrates how the family, or the smallest institution in society-albeit the most fundamental-can shape the values and principles of today's generation, particularly youth's acceptance of and tolerance towards corruption. It acts as an urgent call to young people to help foster a culture of integrity." asserted Mr. Pannathat Sirirak, a freshman from the College of Social Communication Innovation at SU.
"This year marks the 10th anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Convention against Corruption. With close to 180 countries on board, the Convention is the first and only global anti-corruption instrument and special emphasis is placed on empowering and educating citizens to access information, to denounce corruption and to promote anti-corruption initiatives," said Mr. Francesco Checchi, UNODC Regional Anti-Corruption Adviser.
UNODC ROSEAP will continue to build on the wealth of academic knowledge of the Anti-Corruption Academic Initiative (ACAD), which is a collaborative online repository of anti-corruption curriculum composed of academic modules, syllabi, case studies, educational tools and reference materials that may be integrated by universities and other academic institutions into their existing programmes.
In October 2015, UNODC ROSEAP collaborated with the Faculty of Political Science at UBU in Thailand in designing a lecture on anti-corruption as part of its Civic Education and Engagement module. UNODC ROSEAP expects to expand the delivery of its anti-corruption curriculum across more universities in Thailand and across the region in the coming year