Fighting corruption and improving criminal justice through access to information

Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea), 28 September 2022 - Papua New Guinea and the United Nations (UN) celebrated the International Day for Universal Access to Information. At this occasion, a joyful event at Nature Park with dozens of students sharing information and insights on the impact of corruption and the extent of access to information.

The event was part of the PNG Anti-Corruption Project, implemented by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and funded by the European Union. It was also attended by the PNG Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), the National Judicial Staff Services, Transparency International PNG, and the UN Office of the Human Rights Commissioner.

Access to information enables the detection and reporting of corruption. It is also critically important for promoting accountability, transparency and effectiveness of government institutions.

Students learnt about innovations the judiciary is taking to use technology to improve access to justice and enhance the criminal justice process. The Independent Commission Against Corruption explained its prevention, education, investigation and prosecution functions to combat corruption in the public sector. Transparency International highlighted the role of civil society in promoting and supporting access to information.

“The ICAC is working hard with UNODC’s support to ensure we are ready to give the best possible service to citizens when we begin full operations. We want all Papua New Guineans, especially the youth and students, to be engaged with our mandate and to understand the importance of our work” said Mr Thomas Eluh, Chair of the interim PNG ICAC.

“UNODC is pleased to be working with PNG to share our global expertise in building criminal justice capacity and establishing anti-corruption agencies”, said Mr. Julien Garsany, Deputy Regional Representative of the UNODC Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.