A Look At The ‘Reserved Seats’ Context In Vanuatu

MINISTER OF JUTICE Ronald Warsal surprised everyone when he announced last week that the Council of Ministers had approved a constitutional amendment to allow for reserved seats for women in the National Parliament.

In light of this major revelation we all should be aware that work towards achieving this new development did not just happen last week, it had been in the making quite a few years back. In this report we look at a few facts, discussions, and the ideas surrounding having Reserved Seats.

Decline in Women Representations

Reserving seats for female representatives has been an ongoing notion talked about for a couples of years now. Since 2002, the percentage of women standing for election has increased by 1% per election period. In spite of this increased presence in the polls, female representation has continued to decline from its peak of two (2) representatives in 2004, to one (1) in 2008, and back to zero representation in 2012. And in this 10th legislature there is still no women parliamentarians.

In 2006, there were fewer than 3.8% women in Vanuatu’s Parliament – the lowest in the world. Only 17% of women held positions of authority in the public service. Men hold most jobs in both the private and public sector while women make up 83% of full-time home makers in Vanuatu’s urban centers. (Andrina Komala Lini Thomas and Maria Humphries, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand October, 2012)

Unsuccessful Elections

In the election of 30th October 2012, of the 17 female candidates standing for election, none were elected. And of those 17 female candidates, not only were they unelected, but they scored incredibly low in terms of voter numbers in general. The total votes for women represent only 1.98% of the total valid votes.

In a post-election interview, one of the five women who contested stated that “we didn’t get the support from the community, especially the women of Vanuatu. This is a big blow for women, especially in Vanuatu.”

Another candidate for the Labour Party, who also contested in the Port Vila Constituency, said she was disappointed with the reluctance to back new female faces.

Port Vila constituency was the most highly represented constituency with 5 candidates standing out of 49, however in spite of having a 10% chance of gaining one of the 6 seats on offer, all 5 female candidates scored in the bottom 15, with none achieving more than 96 votes.

It is a general consensus among voting women that while they would like to see more female representation at higher level; they continue to vote for male candidates as they do not have faith in the leadership abilities of those women standing for election.

Whilst many of those who contested the election hold positions of power within their respective communities/organizations, they have been labelled as notoriously unreliable, confrontational and do not demand a level of trust and reliability expected of a national leader.

One must ask what the future for women in politics will be now that again, their foothold has been lost to a patriarchal Government.

Vanuatu in the Global Gender Gap Report

The Global Gender Gap Report (2010) published by the World Economic Forum highlights Vanuatu’s on-going lack of gender equality in economic participation and opportunity and outcomes on salaries, participation levels and access to high-skilled employment; in educational attainment and outcomes on access to basic and higher level education; in political empowerment and outcomes on representation in decision-making structures; in health and survival and outcomes on life expectancy and in sex ratios that disadvantage women in all aspects of organization.

Implementation of Reserved Seats

In 2013, the Vanuatu Government mandated that within the Port Vila Municipal Council, 5 reserved seats were allocated to women. This mandate increased the number of seats within the Port Vila Municipal Council,

Female candidates can either stand for election to one of these seats, or they could stand within the regular election process. Gradually, today we have five female Port Vila Councilors who won their seats through the reserved seats category, and currently one them holds the position of the Deputy Lady Mayor.

In 2015, passed amendment of the Municipalities Act to reserve one seat in every ward for women was implemented accordingly during the Luganville Municipal Election in 2015. Four (4) seats were reserved for women.

However, given the successful introduction of reserved seats in the two major urban centers, records on how well it is being implemented according to individual performance and working achievements is yet to be made, as far as we are aware of.

Youth discussions on Reserved Seats

In 2014, Transparency International Vanuatu, in partnership with the Pacific Leadership Programme (PLP), implemented a Youth Parliament Program. The program involved youth from around Vanuatu who held a parliament-type session at the Le Lagon Convention Centre in Port Vila to discuss and debate on certain issues and find solutions.  The young people who took part in the activity were also participated in the first ever Vanuatu National Youth Parliament that took place in 2013.

One of the matters discussed in the parliamentary-oriented activity that time was reserved seats for women in Parliament.

The Youth Parliamentarians found out that the issue of reserving seats specifically for women is not a new notion. Thus, decided to look into the matter, debate the impacts and find a solution to it;


Cons

  • Quotas are against the principle of equal opportunity for all, since women are given preference;
  • Political representation should be a choice between ideas and party platforms, not between social categories;
  • Quotas are undemocratic, because voters should be able to decide who is elected;
  • Quotas imply that politicians are elected because of their gender, not because of their qualifications, and that better-qualified candidates are pushed aside;
  • Many women do not want to get elected just because they are women;
  • Introducing quotas creates significant conflicts within the party organization;
  • Quotas for women will be followed by demands for quotas for other groups, which will result in a politics of sheer group-interest representation.

Pros

  • Quotas for women do not discriminate, but compensate for actual barriers that prevent women from their fair share of the political seats;
  • Quotas imply that there are several women together in a committee or assembly, thus minimizing the stress often experienced by the token women;
  • Women have the right as citizens to equal representation.
  • Women’s experience is needed in political life;
  • Men cannot represent the interest of women. Only many women can represent the diversity of women;
  • Election is about representation, not educational qualifications;
  • Women are just as qualified as men, but women’s qualifications are downgraded and minimized in a male-dominated political system;
  • Quotas do not discriminate against individual men. Rather quota rules limit the tendency of political parties to nominate only men. For the voters, the opportunities are expanded, since it now becomes possible to vote for women candidates;
  • Introducing quotas may cause conflicts, but only temporarily;
  • Several internationally recognized conventions on gender equality have set targets for women’s political representation; including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) which 179 countries are now party to, as well as the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action;
  • How can it be justified that men occupy more than 80% of the parliamentary seats in the world?

Constitutional Amendment – Youth Parliamentary Activity

As part of their parliamentary activity, they amended the Constitution and allowed for eight reserved seats for women MPs. Each seat is reserved for the six Provinces of the Republic of Vanuatu as well as the two urban centers of Port Vila and Luganville.

This will comprise of one (1) reserved seat per province as well as one (1) seat for a representative from the nation’s capital, Port Vila constituency and one (1) seat for a candidate standing from Luganville, the nation’s second major urban centre.

Of course there was opposition to the amendments by the Youth Opposition grouping who argued that that there were several implications to this proposal, as the amendment is not intended to add an additional 8 MP’s seats to Parliament. However, during the course of the debate it was identified that there will be implications on MP’s allocation, as funding for additional MP’s would have to come out of the same available funding for currently serving MP’s and not allocated from other budgets.

The amendments also raised constitutional concerns, as well as issues which may arise in terms of proportional representation, constituency representation and amendments to the electoral rules.

The Pacific Regions Reserved Seats

Looking outward at the regional community the idea for reserved seats for women has been introduced in some countries, some through other processes. Papua New Guinea introduced the Equality & Participation Act which provided for reserved seats for one female candidate from each province, of which there are 21, plus one for the National Capital District, 22 in total within a Parliament of 111 members.

However, it could not be implemented since the Constitutional amendment required to enforce this Act did not pass in parliament.

In 2014, MP’s from the Solomon Islands begun to lobby for the introduction of 10 Reserved Seats for Women within National Parliament.

In 2012 in Fiji, the National Women’s Forum Outcome Statement called for a 50% quota for women in any future legislature, or at the least, a 50% quota within each political party.

In March 2012, the Samoa Government tabled the Constitution Amendment Bill 2012 in Parliament. The Bill seeks to introduce a 10% quota of women representatives into the national Legislative Assembly. The system proposes a “floating” five reserved seats for women.


Some Examples of countries that reserve seats for women are as follows;

  • In Djibouti, 10% of seats are reserved;
  • In India, 33% of seats in all local bodies (panchayats and municipalities) are reserved;
  • In Jordan, 6 of the 110 (5%) seats in the House of Deputies are reserved;
  • In Pakistan, 60 of 342 National Assembly seats (17.5%) are to be allocated to women;
  • In Tanzania, 20% of the seats in parliament are reserved;
  • In Uganda, at least one woman from each of the 54 districts is guaranteed a seat (out of 304 seats)

Finally, given the fastness of the government’s plan to table the Reserved Seats in Parliament Transparency International Vanuatu thinks it is a responsibility for the 52 Members of Parliament to spend the time between now and the June parliament sitting to discuss with their constituents, gather opinions, and analyze them so that they can be fully equipped to represent their constituents.

Cover Photo: A Youth Parliamentarian speaking at the National Youth Parliament in 2013.

 

 

 

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Fake Flowers Do Not Reflect The Value Of Respect

This article was first published in the Daily Post in early 2014 after TIV witnessed that fake man-made flowers were being adorned on the new Prime Minister at that time.

It is being re-published online surrounding circulating information that fake salusalu”s (flowers) and plastic cups as kava shells will be banned from being used during government functions.

It is part of the Ministry of Agriculture’s 100 Day Plan.


IT IS SAID that dead flowers represent disappointment or unhappy situations while a fresh flowers signify pleasure and happiness.Fresh flowers also represents commitment and satisfaction whereas dead or fake flowers portray laziness and a lack of respect.

Topics relating to flowers have appeared in the media from time to time, with disappointed tourist commenting on the sale of fake lays (salusalu) in the mama’s market, to discussions raised on whether foreign fake products replicating their local true originals should be banned for the good of our nation and our traditions. Realistically, to be greeted locally with a gift that is made from another country literally has little or no meaning and value at all except financial costs.

The election of the new PM (in early 2014) was considered by many as a step back to the beliefs and ideas that prompted us to begin our struggle for independence, whilst others see it as a waste of public funds and time, a process that denies voters their right to a full four year term government. Yet it had happened again, a motion that seemed most likely to fail has succeeded, thus proving that a motion with little fuss around it can become quite effective.

However, this article is not about the fuss nor the reasons behind motions, the point here is the symbol of the flowers that somebody went to a shop, or probably down to the mama’s market to purchase plastic made salusalu’s, foreign made products, at 150VT a piece to present, as a symbol of victory, to the newly elected head of the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu.

The talk on the street says that the high esteem that is inherited by each new legislature is slowly being devalued by the continuous change of governments, the fake salusalu’s on the new Prime Minister already proves that the same story is being told within the government itself.

Transparency International Vanuatu would like to remind everyone that the Prime Minister should never be adorned with fake salusalu’s. The position should be celebrated with fresh sweet scented natural flowers that were prepared by a committed individual, who would be proud to see that their hard work is being worn by an important person. Ideally, that same respect must be shown to Ministers, Senior Government Officials, to friends, families, and most certainly to strangers.

It is important to hold on to the values that our founding fathers held so closely to their hearts and fought so bravely for, a value that motivated them to overcome two colonial powers, the same values that makes our scattered island nation the happiest country in the world – RESPECT.

CLICK HERE to join in the discussions on facebook surrounding this topic.

TIV Participates At National Presbyterian Youth Convention

Officers from Transparency International Vanuatu were recently invited to take part providing awareness at the 10th National Presbyterian Youth Convention. Below is a short report that was compiled from that trip;

From humble beginnings, involving a few missionaries and their families, the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu has grown to become the largest religious denomination in Vanuatu. Covering five provinces, dozens of islands and including people from different cultural and language groups.

Of course it did not come cheap, nor fair, but at huge financial costs and losses of lives, terrible sicknesses, musket attacks, tomahawk and spear attacks, threats on lives, hatred, raging wars, jealousy and long-sea voyages.

But despite the challenges that were faced during the growth of the Presbyterian Church in Vanuatu nothing could withstand God’s Word, eventually the will to walk a different path guided the people towards embracing Christianity. The new-found faith established a form of ‘Unity’ never experienced before as different cultures, languages and warring tribes prayed together under one roof, with a united believe, and faith in one God.

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South West Bay

Over the decades the people have continued to maintain the age-old gathering of church members from different islands to discuss and debate on issues that concerns the development and governance of the Church. This month has been a busy month for the Presbyterian Church which includes National Evangelical meetings on Anietyum and National Sunday School meeting on Tanna. And also included in this month’s activities is the 10th National Presbyterian Youth Convention where over five hundred (500) young people from the Seven Presbyteries, or districts that make up the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu, gathered at South West Bay in Malekula.

The entire district of South West Bay is a Presbyterian stronghold. And with the abundance of crops, fruits and vegetation it is an ideal location to hold down the Presbyterian fort, so to speak. Located within the concave that form the bay are several villages that make up the South West Bay Presbyterian Session. The people there tilt the land just above the hills and beyond, they say that further out towards the central part of Malekula is ‘no-man’s land’. In other words, there’s too much resources that the rest is left untouched.

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According to history, as told by an elder of Lawa village, the Catholic mission into the then New Hebrides first established its mission station at Lawa village on South West Bay in 1893. However, two years later in 1895 the Catholic mission was moved to Walarano community at the north eastern part of Malekula after the Presbyterian mission took over ‘Spreading the Word’ throughout the South West Bay district.

The district was lately divided into two separate Presbyterian Sessions by the heads of the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu, one comprising of several villages called the South West Bay Session and the other is called Lawa Session, and it encompasses the village of Lawa including its four community stations, this is where the 10th National Presbyterian Youth Convention was held from the 8th to the 14th of May.

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National Youth Convention

The Youth Convention is similar to the familiar parliamentary functions, its main role is to provide young people with the opportunity to exercise their right to express their opinions on policies and organizational governance, and also to learn from each other through the sharing of information.

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Generally, this process benefits the youth in two particular areas, firstly it allows the 28opportunity for practical experience and it grooms them proper before they begin to move up to the higher councils. And secondly, their opinions are gathered and are then submitted to the higher council as recommendations, or as directives for all youth within the Presbyterian Church to follow.

The 10th Youth Convention comprised of youth general meetings, electives or lessons, and awareness programs conducted by the Vanuatu National Youth Council (VNYC), the Telecommunications and Radiocommunications Regulator (TRR) and Transparency International Vanuatu (TIV).

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The Convention Environment

When Officers from Transparency International Vanuatu arrived at Lawa village on Thursday the 12th the place was buzzing with activities. Decorations filled the environment starting from the coast up towards the village, almost every tree trunk around the village center and along the roads were wrapped in plain colored fabric and painted with the word ‘Rebuild’.

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Beautiful banners, filled with empowered words, arched over the main road just past the 24Lawa community hall while down in the river that flowed to the ocean a small but effective dam had been constructed to create a pool of fresh water, large enough to accommodate around fifteen people and with space for a few more.

Decorations around the pool adorned the scenery in red and white colors, the entire premises awed newcomers as well as the villagers. Even the story behind their newly build stage (called Serao Kalo Memorial Stage) is one of a kind, a miracle to be precise.

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Speaking with elders in the village it was clear that by-laws ordered by the High Chief is still of great importance and is respected thoroughly. Enforcement on village laws is of paramount significance and fines or penalties are ordered and implemented with no hesitation.

TIV Awareness Session

When the Transparency International Vanuatu (TIV) Civic Education Officer, Mr. Douglas Tamara, took the stage on Thursday (12th) night he encouraged that traditional respect must be continued to be practiced. And in-line with articles within the Mama Law it is a constitutional responsibility that people must obey laws and take part in communal activities as tradition dictates.

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He also stressed that the spoken native language in the area must also be preserved and 8taught to the younger generation. This advice came after speaking with several villagers who identified that they were losing out on some of their linguistic contents.

Language is more than just a tool for communicating, but it is a form of secret coding that can be used to one’s advantage when in foreign lands. It is a channel to hide and preserve valued knowledge as well as to pass on practical knowledge that can be used for development purposes.

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To the youth TIV promoted the reasons why we have a chapter in our Mama Law that established our rights and duties and legal entities. And that with every right that we have there is the duty to respect another person’s right, and if that can be achieved then there will be a balance, and fairness will prevail.

The Right To Information (RTI) Bill was also talked about to the five hundred youth delegates plus the villagers, and when asked if they thought that the RTI Bill would be helpful to them when it becomes law hands were raised from the front, to the rear and right to the back of the stage compound.

The awareness concluded with the donation of copies of the National Constitution to the Coordinator of the National Youth Convention Mr. James Joseph.

More photos from the National Youth Convention:

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Anti-Corruption & Crime Prevention Awareness Campaign In South Malekula

TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL VANUATU (TIV) CEO Mr. Wilson Toa and the Deputy Commissioner of the Vanuatu Police Force Mr. Jackson Noal recently conducted a joint awareness on the Right to Information (RTI), Anti-Corruption and Crime Prevention on South Malekula last week.

The TIV CEO and the Deputy Police Commissioner attended a Seventh Day Adventist Youth Program on Lamap on Malekula between Thursday and Monday this week.

More than 300 people from areas around Ramban Village in Lamap, Peskarus Village in Maskelyn and the Blacksands area attended the programs and were able to learn about the RTI Bill in Vanuatu for the first time ever.

“People in the South Malekula have never heard of the Right to Information Bill, this is the first time they have heard of the RTI Bill,” Wilson Toa said.

“The chiefs in South Malekula were happy to hear about the RTI Bill awareness as it will promote more transparency and accountability in the government,” he said.

More than 900 pamphlets of the RTI were delivered to the people around the Southern part of Malekula.

 

Anti-Corruption Day Observed In Vanuatu

THE VANUATU GOVERNMENT in partnership with Transparency International Vanuatu (TIV) hosted this year’s International Anti-Corruption Day down at the Port Vila Seafront.

International Anti Corruption Day is held every year as an opportunity for the community to rally support of the work being undertaken to combat corruption in all its forms. The event was scheduled to be held on the 9th of December 2015, but was postponed to this year.

Programs of that day included a public parade against corruption from Chantilly’s to the Seafront space next to the Port Vila Market House. The VMF Brass band led the parade followed by government leaders, NGO’s and members of the public.

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At the Seafront there were a few speeches, awareness programs, and drama performances 17by the Rainbow Disability Theater Group who created and performed the widely showcased drama – Pikinini Blong Seaview.

And to conclude the half day program Stan & the Earth Force soothingly closed of the activities with some of their hard hitting songs about the reality of life in Vanuatu.

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At a quarter past nine the Honorable Prime Minister Charlot Salwai gave his speech, in his speech he emphasized his government’s commitment towards fighting corruption in Vanuatu.

Vanuatu, as a member state of the UN, is a signatory to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2011. Therefore it is by obligation that Vanuatu must have in place mechanisms that implement and enforce this UNCAC.

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A statement from the Ministry of Justice earlier that week explained that Vanuatu “has 12been working to strengthen the institutions and laws needed to address corruption. A 2013 review of Vanuatu’s progress to implement UNCAC found that some significant progress has been made, acknowledging work particularly in the areas of ant-money laundering, international cooperation and initiative in Correction Services.”

And because Vanuatu acceded to the UNCAC therefore it is important to have an Anti-Corruption Day so that government and civil society leaders can prioritize that day as a time to report back to the whole country on what they have done specifically in the areas of anti-corruption.

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Those who also provided statements on anti-corruption today were the Director General for the Ministry of Justice Mark Bebe, the Ombudsman Kalkot Mataskelekele, and Transparency International Vanuatu Board Secretary Mr Joe Kalo.

The Ministry of Justice and the Office the Prime Minister were the main offices behind the observation of anti-corruption days, and Transparency International Vanuatu, as a civil society organization has been privileged to have worked in collaboration with the said offices during the past weeks and months towards the event.

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The theme for this years celebration of the Anti Corruption Day in Vanuatu was “Fight Corruption. Use the Right Information. Enough Hearsay.”

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A media release from the Ministry of Justice and Community Services (MOJCS) this week elaborated more on the reasons behind hosting the Anti-Corruption Day.

The statement says that the theme reflects a key strategy “which the government is implementing to lead a more open and transparent administration”.

The statement also recognized Transparency International Vanuatu’s assistance towards the raising public awareness on the Right To Information (RTI) Bill. The statement from the MOJCS further explained that the theme for anti-corruption day was developed earlier this year, and Transparency International Vanuatu has been using it to conduct awareness programs on the Right to Information (RTI) Bill around the islands of Vanuatu.

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Right To Information (RTI) is a Bill that is still in the drafting process yet to be passed in 10parliament which will give free access to the right information needed in this country.

The statement explained that in 2014 “the Government launched the Right To information (RTI) Policy which when fully implemented will mean that each agency will publish information on its organization, policies, activities and expenditure.

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RTI will also mean that any person will be entitled to ask for any information held by the Government, and the Government will be required to provide that information, with limited exemptions to protect such things as personal privacy, national security, health and safety and legal privilege. An RTI Unit to oversee implementation of RTI has been established within the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer.”

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“The Ministry of Justice and Community Services is leading a review of the Ombudsman 5and Leadership Code Acts to make sure that the laws reflect community standard and are strong enough to fight corruption in our public institutions. Other work to combat corruption in the private and not government sectors has also occurring.”

Over the years advocacies after advocacies have been implemented to combat corruption at all levels of society, yet no law has been tabled in Parliament that would evidently fight corruption effectively across all levels. It is about time now that Vanuatu move forward to enforce in such laws, and the Right To information is one of them.

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During Transparency International Vanuatu community awareness programs on the RTI around Vanuatu a hundred percent of the people that were talked to wanted the RTI Bill to be passed and to become law, and though some people were careful on their opinions they eventually expressed support to have such a law place.

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It was during the RTI Toksave on Malekula when a Chief from the North West emphasized13
that “this is God’s plan, everything comes in a timely manner. This RTI Bill must become law. With human nature and Gods divine power anything is possible.”

It was also during another RTI Toksave on West Ambae when an elder from Vilakala village shed tears of joy. After listening to the RTI awareness the elder expressed that “Vanuatu will be free at last.”

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He explained that “when I heard of the Right to Information Bill, I knew that Vanuatu will be free at last because despite our independence we are still not free yet, because the information that we want is not readily available to us citizens.”

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The right to information originates as a national fundamental right, and is expressed in 23
Vanuatu’s National Constitution under article five.

At the moment there is no RTI Law that will give legal effect to this fundamental right however preparations have already been made and an RTI policy was launched in 2014, and until it becomes law TIV will continue to advocate for the RTI in Vanuatu.

The RTI is important because it is a symbol of an open democracy and a key to governance. The RTI promotes transparency and accountability in the public sector. It supports and protects human rights and it strengthens the foundations of democracy, and most importantly it fights against corruption.

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Thus the theme – Fight Corruption. Use The Right Information. Enough Hearsay. In Bislama it translates as “Faetem Korapsen. Yusum Raet Infomeisen. Inaf Blong Harem Se.”

As Transparency International Vanuatu continues to face further cuts on organizational funding we would like to continue to encourage us to be strong against corruption, corruption is everyone’s business. We have witnessed first-hand tears of hopelessness that were shed because of corruption, expressionless faces with eyes filled with pain. But we have also seen tears of joy, faces filled with energy and eyes filled with hope because corruption was defeated and removed as a parasite, an unwanted obstacle, towards achieving better living standards, a better future, and fair justice.

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For more information relating to any topics in our work please do contact us at transparency@vanuatu.com.vu or you call us at: 25715.

 

 

World Media Press Freedom Day In Photos

THE WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY activities in Vanuatu took place on Tuesday the 3rd near the Port Vila Market House.

The activities were spearheaded by the Media Association of Vanuatu (MAV) and included speeches by the Prime Minister, Leaders in the Pacific, the Vanuatu media industry including Government leaders.

There were booths that were set up by different media outlets and organisations to give out information on what they do.

The theme for that day was – Right To Information Saves Lives. The event saw a Media Freedom Parade through town before speeches were given at the Seafront by the Prime Minister, the President of Media Association of Vanuatu including other heads of media companies in Vanuatu.

Enjoy the photos!

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Civil Society Groups Attend Anti-Corruption Workshop

“WE WILL CONTINUE to work in support of government policies that support transparency and accountability” stated the Executive Officer of Transparency International Vanuatu at the opening address of the CSO Anti-Corruption Workshop held in Port Vila at the Moorings Outrigger conference room this morning.

The anti-corruption workshop is being facilitated by the United National Development Program and the United Nations Office of Crime and Corruption in partnership with Transparency International Vanuatu.

“The work of the CSO community is as important as the work of government when it comes to fighting corruption” explained the UNDP workshop facilitator Luisa Senibulu.

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The aim of this workshop is to enhance understanding and awareness of corruption in Vanuatu as well as provide participants with a platform to discuss, share knowledge and information on possible ways to address corruption in Vanuatu.

The workshop is being attended by representatives from several civil society and media groups in Vanuatu including a few government offices that work in the area of anti-corruption.

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The CSO Anti-Corruption workshop is being conducted today and will end at 4:30 in the afternoon tomorrow.

Included in the program are presentations by the Office of Prime Minister, the Right To Information Unit, Transparency International Vanuatu, Office of the Ombudsman, the Financial Intelligence Unit and several others more.

The discussion of ideas and recommendations from the workshop will be used as gathered data for the formulation of the Vanuatu National Anti-Corruption Policy by the government of Vanuatu.

The workshop follows a similar format which was attended to by senior government officials at the Government Anti-Corruption Workshop that was held at The Melanesian on 4th May 2016.