REMARKS: ASG Esala Nayasi on Tackling corruption in the Pacific: Can technology & artificial intelligence facilitate a breakthrough?

Media Releases and News
29 May 2024

Remarks delivered by the Acting Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Esala Nayasi.

At the UNDP-led workshop on Tackling Corruption in the Pacific" Can Technology & Artificial Intelligence Facilitate a Breakthrough? 

29 May 2024. Pearl Resort, Pacific Harbor, Fiji.



UNDP Resident Representative


High Commissioner Jones, 


Heads of Delegations and Senior Officials representing Pacific Governments,

Representatives of Civil Society Organisations,


Ladies and Gentlemen.

Bula vinaka.

Our discussions this week provide a valuable opportunity to discuss our collective approach to ending corruption in the Blue Pacific Continent. 


It is also an opportunity to have an in-depth discussion on our collective approach to the implementation of the Teieniwa Vision, and to look at some of the technology that is available to facilitate implementation.


Last year, when Pacific delegates went to Atlanta for the 10th Conference of Parties on the Convention Against Corruption, our message was clear. 


We emphasised that corruption:


  • is the enemy of progress, growth and economic development;

  • undermines democracy and the rule of law; and

  • encourages the emergence of criminal ecosystems.

Taking all this into account, I would offer that addressing corruption is more important now than ever, particularly as geopolitical competition intensifies all around us and crime groups are increasingly active in the Pacific.


We should be working towards upholding good governance principles that keep decision-makers accountable and transparent in their actions.


We want institutions that ensure that decisions are made in support of our national and collective interests and priorities.


We must ensure that accountability systems, processes, and institutions – state and non-state – are resourced to play their roles effectively.


I urge all of you to continue to fight the good fight and to stop the scourge of corruption from derailing our development aspirations.


So, how do we all harness the political will needed to fight corruption?


At the regional level, the commitment is clear, in both the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent and the Teieniwa Vision.


The 2050 Strategy frames the long-term approach for regional cooperation.


The Teieniwa Vision, adopted by Leaders in 2021, sets out a clear commitment for the region to work together and hold ourselves accountable for progressing Pacific unity against corruption.


In November last year, Forum Leaders issued a comprehensive implementation plan for the 2050 Strategy, which is already driving our development efforts across the region.


The 2050 Implementation Plan complements the existing work on the Teieniwa Vision Implementation Matrix that our Members endorsed in 2022.


These plans are intimately aligned. They speak to the same goal.


I urge all of us to continue to work together, recognising our Leaders’ emphasis on the importance of regional cooperation and collaboration, towards realising our collective aspirations under the 2050 Strategy.


To deliver on our vision for a corruption-free Pacific, as anti-corruption focal points, you all have an important role to play in harnessing political support at the national level.


This is critical as our regional commitments will fail if national efforts are not in order.


This week provides us with a valuable opportunity to look at how modern technology could help us with the implementation of the anti-corruption aspects of the 2050 Strategy and indeed the Teieniwa Vision. 


So, I urge you all:


  • Use this meeting as an opportunity to share experiences and learn from each other to strengthen your own approaches at the National level.

  • Use it as an opportunity to establish support networks that will assist in your work when you return home.


You are not alone, we have friends, family, partners, and donors who are willing to assist in this important work.


On this note, I would like to acknowledge the assistance from the government of the United Kingdom in resourcing this workshop, and to the government of New Zealand for facilitating UNODC’s support for the Teieniwa Vision implementation.


Let me also take this opportunity to extend my sincere gratitude and appreciation to the UNDP and UNODC offices in Suva.


UNDP and UNODC have been very good partners in advancing regional anticorruption efforts, and I hope that we will continue to strengthen these partnerships moving forward.


Our recently signed MOU with UNDP speaks strongly of the collaboration between the Forum Secretariat and UNDP, including on corruption, and I’m pleased to note we are near the end of a process to develop a Cooperation Framework with UNODC also. 


In closing, I hope that you will all enjoy your deliberation over the next three days to shape how we will contribute as a region to anti-corruption efforts. 


I hope that we all come away from this week with a reinvigorated sense of commitment to fighting corruption within our region.


Vinaka and thank you.