The Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) of Solomon Islands and Cook Islands strengthened their anti-corruption efforts and partnerships at national and regional levels as the Pacific regional knowledge exchange takes place. Organised within the continued strategic partnership with the UN Development Programme (UNDP)
with support from the Governments of Solomon Islands, Japan, and the UK, the two-week-long knowledge programme commenced on March 20 and will last until March 30. Building on the ongoing regional cooperation to fight corruption at all levels, the knowledge programme facilitates the week-long structured peer-to-peer exchange program, supporting three Solomon Islands Financial Intelligence Unit (SIFIU) Analysts to be attached to Cook Islands Financial Intelligence Unit (CIFIU). Moreover, both FIUs will jointly benefit from their participation in the training programme provided by the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) on financial crime, money laundering, and criminal asset confiscation, happening from 27 to 30 March 2023. The package of support for the knowledge-enhancing activities aims to reinforce the two FIUs’ institutional capability with a focus on the issues of financial analysis and supervision and foster regional cooperation for countering corruption and money laundering. Mr Raymond Ngele, who leads the SIFIU attachment delegation said, “This exchange programme supported by the UNDP enables us at SIFIU to enhance the institutional process improvement, including better case analysis, case management and improved knowledge and capability for conducting anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) compliance examinations as well as disseminations to its law enforcement partners.” In welcoming their counterpart from SIFIU for the knowledge and practical skills exchanges, Mr Walter Henry, Head of Cook Islands FIU (CIFIU) said, “We aim for this exchange to lead to enhanced mutual collaboration and identification of more opportunities for cooperation between both FIUs. This exchange of knowledge and expertise of the staff will add value to the regional anti-corruption efforts.” UNDP in the Pacific has been working with FIUs in Pacific Island Countries to support their anti-corruption and anti-money laundering efforts through mutually reinforcing and complementary regional and national anti-corruption activities. These efforts have focused on the provision of technical advice, capacity-building, knowledge exchanges, direct mentoring and the production of knowledge products. Through those activities, public sector organizations and officials are supported to systematically implement improved accountability frameworks aimed at tackling corruption and money laundering, as well as the private sector promoting integrity policy and practices. UNDP Regional Anti-Corruption Adviser, Ms. Sonja Stefanovska-Trajanoska, reiterated that as a UN development agency, UNDP’s focus is the impact of corruption on the sustainable development of the Pacific, its related manifestations through weakened institutions, inequitable service delivery, distorted markets and eroded quality of life. “Our support to the anti-corruption efforts in the Solomon Islands and in the region aims to contribute to the advancement of the 2030 Agenda and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a focus on combating corruption and organized crime under SDG 16 on peace, justice, and strong institutions,” added Ms Trajanoska. The FIU attachment programme is supported by the Government of the United Kingdom through the Pacific Anti-Corruption Project, and the Governments of Japan and Solomon Islands through the Transparency and Accountability for the People of Solomon Islands – the Project for Strengthening the Capacities to Combat Corruption (TAPSCCC), both implemented by UNDP.
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