UN adviser highlights media role

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Regional Anti-Corruption Adviser for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Annika Wythes (top corner on the right) with regional journalists during a pre-UNGASS webinar session. Picture: FACEBOOK

Challenging corruption needs a whole-of-society commitment and Pacific media have a key role to identify priorities, highlight gaps and support evidence-based solutions, says Regional Anti-Corruption Adviser for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Annika Wythes.

She said Pacific journalists had a key role in making sure commitments by governments at this week’s United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on anti-corruption were going to be implemented.

Supported by the United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) project and the Pacific Anti-Corruption Journalists Network (PACJN), the knowledge sharing session saw journalists from throughout the Pacific highlight the need for meaningful right to information, whistleblower protection and well-supported national independent integrity bodies.

PACJN coordinator Samisoni Pareti welcomed the pre-UNGASS knowledge sharing session, saying it gave journalists key technical skills to develop their anti-corruption reporting.

“As journalists, we have moved from only reporting on the ills of corruption to being able to road-test solutions and hold our governments accountable for implementing good integrity practices throughout the public sector, commerce and society as a whole,” Mr Pareti said.

UNDP anti-corruption adviser in Fiji Dr Sonja Stefanovska-Trajanoska said local media could contribute to ensuring that UNGASS and Teieniwa vision commitments were on track for the benefit of Pacific citizens and societies at large.

The United Nations will host the UNGASS in New York and with online participation for 187 countries from June 2-4.

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