Youths from across Pacific Islands Countries will engage in strategic discussion with Pacific leaders on advancing good governance with focus on the impact of corruption on sustainable development. The discussion, among others, will spotlight two key topics as identified to be priority by youth: response to climate change and promoting gender equality in the Blue Pacific region. The Pacific Conference on Governance is hosted by the University of the South Pacific Students’ Association (USPSA) in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji and will take place in Auckland, New Zealand on 11 and 12 May.
The two-day conference brings together leaders, policy makers, governance experts, practitioners and youths from governments, public sector, research institutions and civil society to discuss challenges, opportunities and innovative solutions to the critical issues to sustainable development in the Pacific. The event aims to inform, inspire, empower, and add further momentum to an important emerging youth movement particularly concerned with the connections between corruption and sustainable development.
Professor Pal Ahluwalia, Vice-Chancellor & President of USP expects the conference will further enable youth and marginalized groups from national and regional levels to be part of the policy dialogue with high-level participants at national and regional level. “I am pleased to note that Government Ministers, Heads of Regional Organisation, policy experts, youth activists and student leaders are all coming together for this remarkable event. This not only signifies our Student Associations tremendous work, but it tells us that the region is coming together to meaningfully engage and work with the young people of our region”.
Aneet Kumar, Deputy Secretary General of USPSA has emphasised on the importance of taking the regions Youth Vision towards action through this conference. “Youth leaders have already designed an action plan for implementation of the Pacific Youth Vision for a Corruption-Resilient 2050 Blue Pacific. This conference is part of the Action Plan and the proposed next steps for the Vision. It is a Vision we own, and we are committed to taking it forward with concrete actions and we call on all interested youth and youth associations in the Pacific to join us on this important journey.”
The Pacific Youth Vision, as a major outcome of the 2022 Pacific Youth Summit organized by USPSA and UNDP, demonstrates the commitment of Pacific youth to contribute to good governance and anti-corruption efforts. In view of the increased demand for more structured and sustainable dialogue on anti-corruption, USPSA is working closely on establishment of a Youth Advisory Board on Good Governance with the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and sub-regional groupings. It is expected that the Board will be launched at the end of this conference.
Sonja Stefanovska-Trajanoska, UNDP Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Adviser said, “Supporting the sustained commitment and ongoing efforts of Pacific youth on good governance and anti-corruption, the Conference provides an excellent platform for continued dialogue and enhanced cooperation between youth, regional organizations, Governments and non-governmental stakeholders. The inclusive engagement across sectors and generations will further articulate the benefits of combating corruption and promote good governance for achievement of the 2050 Blue Pacific Strategy.”
The event is supported under the UNDP project, Strengthening Anti-Corruption, Transparency and Accountability in Pacific Islands Countries (Pacific Anti-Corruption Project) funded by the Government of the United Kingdom and the United Nations Regional Anti-Corruption Project (UN-PRAC) funded by the New Zealand Government.