Participants from National Youth Council, local CSOs, communities and outer islands at the USP Cook Islands Campus Photo: USPSA/ 23053005
An anti-corruption policy dialogue brought together youth and representatives from government and non-government stakeholders in the Cook Islands including the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, National Youth Council, National Women’s Council, the Ombudsman’s Office, National Disability Council and Pride Cook Islands.
The dialogue embraced around 100 students, community leaders and civil
society and citizens at large.
This was initiated by the University of the South Pacific Students'
Association (USPSA), with support from the United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP), and funded by the United Kingdom Government, USPSA, in cooperation with
the Youth Council of the Cook Islands and relevant authorities, organised
anti-corruption consultations and policy dialogue between the anti-corruption
institutions, youth and civil society stakeholders took palace from May 17 -23
The discussions aimed at furthering the region’s commitments under the Pacific Youth Vision on a Corruption-resilient 2050
Blue Pacific focused on the related challenges and opportunities for
youth and civil society more broadly to be actively involved in the
implementation of the youth vision, monitoring and achieving results nationally
Director of Island Governance Mia Teaurima said the Cook Islands was
committed to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), the
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Teieniwa Vision Pacific Unity against
Corruption, and the 2050 Blue Pacific Strategy, which set out long-term
approaches to working in unison as a region and as countries, communities and
as people of the Pacific.
“We welcome the youth anti-corruption movement expanding to the Cook
Islands and establishing the linkages and relevance between national, regional
and international anti-corruption work where all stakeholders can work
together. It is critical that our youth today, who are our future leaders, are
well acquainted with the principles of good governance to avoid corruption in
our societies,” Teaurima said.
USP Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Pal Ahluwalia said the initiative
has connected young people both to the current regional political leadership
and the wider community, empowering them to voice their anti-corruption concerns
and advocate for action.
Student Associations’ work also empowered Pacific youth to engage
positively in sustainable development areas particularly around good
The continued youth advocacy and increased demand for more structured
and sustainable dialogue on anti-corruption culminated in the launch of a Youth
Advisory Board on Good Governance. The Advisory
Board was formally launched on May 11 during the Pacific Conference on Governance in Auckland, New
Zealand organised by the USPSA in partnership with UNDP, and funded by
the UK government and the New Zealand government, with over 65 youth
participants and national and regional policymakers.
The Advisory Board, based at USPSA and affiliated to the Pacific Islands
Forum Secretariat (PIFS), will also work closely with other Council of Regional
Organisations of the Pacific (CROP) agencies to further scale up and
institutionalize the strategic youth anti-corruption engagement in support of
the regional policy commitments including the
Teieniwa Vision and the 2050 Blue Pacific