March 10, 2016 (Nauru) – Community consultation is being fully embraced by Parliamentarians on Nauru – the world’s smallest island state with just 10,000 residents, as they establish their nation’s first Leadership Code.
Parliament Speaker Hon. Ludwig Scotty made the statement at the United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) Project workshop currently underway at the Parliament of Nauru.
Since October 2015, the Parliament of Nauru has worked with the UN-PRAC Project to undertake workshops on Anti-Corruption and Leadership Code best practices with the Leadership Code Select Parliamentary Committee, Ministers, Speaker and the President, as well as 32 local community “integrity champions” who aimed to canvas the views of every household on the island, as the unicameral Parliament builds its Leadership Code from the grassroots.
“The process of the Leadership Code Select Committee has been as transparent as it could be because of this tremendous exercise of public consultation through its champions. Today’s workshop and the collective input from the community will greatly inform the final shape of the Committee’s report,” said Speaker Ludwig Scotty.
Nauru President H.E. Baron Waqa reinforced his government’s commitment to introducing a Leadership Code that was a product of genuine consultation with the community.
“We don’t have a pre-conceived Leadership Code, we want to first hear from the Nauru people about what they expect of their leaders before we start drafting legislation,” President Waqa told the first workshop.
Community participants at the workshop, who aimed to visit every Nauru household during the month of November, encouraged each other during interview training to ensure they made people feel comfortable to express their real views and not be guided by any of the participants’ opinions.
“Nauru is making sure Parliamentarians and the community are fully involved in implementing and reviewing Nauru’s commitment to the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), which it signed in 2012 by developing a best practice Leadership Code,” said UN-PRAC Anti-Corruption Consultant John Hyde.
Issues that Nauruans raised during the consultation that they want addressed in the Code include gift-giving, definition of a leader, assets registry, freedom of information access, penalties, and having a system of external oversight.
The Australian Government is supporting the UN-PRAC Project, a four-year USD$4.3m project in the 15 Pacific nations being implemented by UNODC and UNDP.
From the UN Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) Project, a joint four-year initiative of the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, with support from the Australian Government.
For more information on the UN-PRAC Project, you may get in touch with:
Annika Wythes, Anti-Corruption Adviser – Pacific, UNODC, firstname.lastname@example.org
Luisa Senibulu, Governance Programme Associate, UNDP/UNODC, email@example.com
Samita Singh, Programme Assistant – Anti-Corruption, UNDP/UNODC, firstname.lastname@example.org