Anti-Corruption workshop unpacks youth vision


Labasa, Fiji 8th March – Over 70 students from Fiji’s Northern Division participated in the “Anti-Corruption Consultation Workshop to Unpack the Youth Vision” at The University of the South Pacific (USP) Labasa Campus on Friday, 8th March 2024.

This was the first anti-corruption interactive workshop at the USP Labasa Campus.

USP Students’ Association (USPSA), in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Government of the United Kingdom, has set new standards to give the youths of the region a powerful medium to express their views and stance on the notion(s) of Good Governance, Integrity, Anti-Corruption and Right to Information.

With USPSA leading this partnership and conducting a series of workshops in Samoa, Kiribati, and Vanuatu, with the Solomon Islands and the USP Lautoka Branch being the last two stops under this partnership, the plan is to extend the same to other regional countries.

USPSA Deputy Secretary General, Mr Lepani Naqarase, while welcoming participants to the workshop, said that “Events of this nature play an important role in reminding us of the importance of addressing corruption in the region, as such platforms serve as foundations towards a Corruption Resilient Blue Pacific”.

The guest of honour for the event, the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) Manager Corruption Prevention, Ms Naliva, stated the importance of youth involvement while delivering her remarks.

“It is essential that youths are involved and understand the issues of corruption and that we can also use you as our voice out there in our efforts to reduce corruption as much as possible, and it is pivotal to have the champions within the youths, people who are fully aware within their circles who can educate their peers and also mobilise youths.”

UNDP Programme Manager/Specialist Ms Linh–Tra Phuong Bui also delivered a presentation highlighting why anti-corruptions matter and how the youth can be agents of change.

The workshop was an eye-opener for Ms Adi Mariana Sarafina Bukateci, who travelled from the USP Savusavu Centre with a youth group.

She said that this was her first time experiencing such a workshop, and it enlightened and broadened her knowledge, adding that “It is integral that the youth must be heavily involved in combatting and improving the flawed corruption-riddled region we are living in”.

USP Savusavu Centre representative, Mr Sairusi Lui, thanked all the participants and the guest of honour for gracing the workshop and stated, “Our Pacific and its people have suffered greatly due to the effects of corruption that is omnipresent in all aspects of development in the region. The Pacific could potentially be years ahead in terms of advancements and growth had we been ridden free of the plague-like issue of persistent corruption in the region.”

“Yet our people have endured uncertain and difficult times, where the only promise seemed to be a corruption-fueled region. However, what is amazing is that our youth are putting their hands up to be the front liners and take corruption head-on in what we now know to be the Pacific Youth Movement.”

The workshop included a series of group activities with facilitators Mr Yash Kumar and Mr Lepani Naqarase dividing the many youths in attendance into nine groups, each representing a youth vision, which led to very substantive engagements and discussions between all participants who presented ideas on their ideal blue pacific.

The event concluded with remarks from the USPSA Labasa Branch President, who called for such workshops to be held frequently in the northern division.


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