Asia-Pacific anti-graft project launched

A four-year project to strengthen anti-corruption efforts across all sectors in the Asia-Pacific region was officially launched here yesterday.

The Anti-Corruption for Peaceful and Inclusive Societies (ACPIS), an initiative by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the governments of Singapore and Australia, will be housed in the UNDP Global Centre for Public Service Excellence in Heng Mui Keng Terrace. The centre was set up in 2012 with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

Australia pledged A$6.5 million ($7 million) to support ACPIS, which aims to put in place anti-corruption solutions in health, education, infrastructure and other sectors.

Other objectives include strengthening the capacity of agencies in preventing corruption and promoting advocacy and knowledge of related issues, said UNDP, whose work covers 36 countries and territories in the region.

Ms Vanessa Chan, director-general of MFA's international organisations directorate, said: "The fight against corruption is an unending one, and all of us have the duty to take part - the Government, the public service, the private sector and the general public."

She said the project would help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 16, which recognises the importance of effective institutions in sustainable development.

Australia's High Commissioner to Singapore Bruce Gosper said: "Australia and Singapore rank among the least corrupt countries in the world. Both countries recognise that corruption weakens governance, and threatens cohesiveness and prosperity of our societies."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 08, 2017, with the headline 'Asia-Pacific anti-graft project launched'. Print Edition | Subscribe