by Allanah Leahy – EM TV Online
On the 9th of December yesterday, Papua New Guinea, along with the rest of the world observed International Anti-Corruption Day with the theme “breaking the corruption chain”.
Corruption is the leading obstacle to sustainable social and economic development; it undermines democratic institutions, contributing to government instability.
On Transparency International’s corruption perception index this year, Papua New Guinea ranked 145 out of the 175 most corrupt countries in the world.
This score, Head of Transparency International’s Lawrence Stevens told ABC’s Pacific Beat, has been held by PNG for three years in a row. Papua New Guinea is one of the very few Pacific countries ranked this year as well.
“The only other country in the Pacific that’s been ranked this year [apart from] New Zealand and Australia is Samoa and the reasons why PNG’scores where it is are obvious when you pick up any newspaper or listen to any conversation with people generally,” Mr Stevens said.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has estimated that funds lost to corruption are around 10 times the amount of official development assistance. Somalia holds the number one spot on the corruption perception index as the most corrupt country in the world this year.
Mr Stevens also said that the active productivity of businesses and the government in addressing corruption is an indication of improvement. He described the Prime Minister’s involvement as promising and also commended help from business councils, the Chamber of Mines and other organisations working to bring about change.