Koror (Palau), 26 August 2022 – Palau’s anti-corruption stakeholders have assessed priorities identified from Palau’s Country Review Report of its implementation of preventive measures and asset recovery under the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).
Assisted by a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) team in Palau, a dedicated workshop on 26 August led by Palau Attorney-General and UNCAC Focal Point, Mrs. Ernestine Rengiil, along with UNODC’s Regional Anti-Corruption Adviser for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Ms Annika Wythes, embraced priorities offered by representatives of Palau’s Government and ministries including immigration, police and financial integrity agencies, the Public Auditor, Office of the Special Prosecutor, the Senate, Palau Chamber of Commerce, media, Belau Association of NGOs, banks and small businesses.
Palau opted on 18 July, 2022 to make the entire UNCAC review report publicly available and open for discussion. Implementation of the review recommendations will assist Palau’s integrity agencies to better prevent corruption and more efficiently stop corrupt practices which are eroding public confidence in institutions and siphoning off much needed government resources.
“Key issues identified under UNCAC Chapters II (Preventive measures) and V (Asset recovery), and endorsed by participants, included a need for whistleblower protection legislation, an umbrella National Anti-Corruption Strategy, and to re-establish the Office of the Ombudsman, as well as ensure the availability of necessary material resources and specialized staff, along with a coordinated focus on implementation of existing integrity legislation,“ said Ms Wythes.
Attorney-General Rengill informed participants that their recommendations would be taken to President Surangel Whipps as a response to the detailed UNCAC Country Review Report.
Both the executive summary and full UNCAC review report of Palau are available at: Country Profile (unodc.org).
As well as this review workshop, UNODC in Palau is currently assisting the Palau Chamber of Commerce with its youth outreach and women entrepreneurs’ development, providing equipment and technical assistance to the Palau Media Council to strengthen local journalists’ reporting on anti-corruption, and assisting the Office of the Special Prosecutor in its outreach work.
UNODC’s work in Palau is implemented through the UN Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Project (UN-PRAC), a joint initiative between UNODC and UNDP, supported by the New Zealand Aid Programme.