Pacific regional non-government organisations are benefiting from a new partnership between the Pacific Regional NGO Alliance (PRNGO) and the UN Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) Project to strengthen governance within NGOs.

PRNGO and UN-PRAC recently undertook a workshop in Suva, Fiji with PRNGO representatives to provide recommendations on updating and strengthening governance in PRNGO’s 14-year-old founding Memorandum of Understanding and to establish a Code of Conduct.

PRNGO chair Mr. Setareki Macanawai said that it was important for a regional network like PRNGO to examine its own internal governance and also be aware of NGO involvement in international treaties such as the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).

“This workshop helped the active PRNGO members to see the benefits of having a contemporary Code of Conduct and also how to “unpack the UNCAC with UN-PRAC” and realise our opportunities for accountability advocacy,” said Mr Macanawai.

UN-PRAC’s Mihaela Stojkoska, Anti-Corruption Specialist, UNDP Pacific Office said it was a great indication of the commitment to good practice of civil society in the Pacific that an umbrella group such as PRNGO requested a partnership to strengthen their governance.

“This partnership aims to establish an integrity platform for Pacific civil society, involving a code of conduct and integrity strengthening initiatives through the PRNGO Alliance,” said Ms Stojkoska.

Codes of Conduct

As a result of the Suva workshop, a number of individual PRNGO NGOs have requested UN-PRAC assistance in reviewing and establishing their own Codes of Conduct.

In addition to the two-day Suva workshop, PRNGO, UN-PRAC and the Raising Pacific Voices of OXFAM in the Pacific also conducted a separate evening information session for NGOs on conflicts of interest.

The Pacific Regional NGO Alliance as a ‘collective’ CSO actor over the years has been a ‘harmonised voice’ for CSO issues in the Pacific. The Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) is currently the convener of the PRNGO network.

The UN Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) Project, an initiative of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is supported by the Australian Government.  UN-PRAC has a mandate to engage Pacific Islands civil society organisations and members in the fight against corruption.