More than 20 female business owners and operators from the Itu Asau area taking part in the Samoa Women Entrepreneurs Anti-Corruption Workshop at the Vaisala Hotel today. Photo credit: UNDP Samoa/L.Lesa

(Savai’i, Samoa) 27 July 2021 – Samoan women entrepreneurs are meeting in Savai’i today to share their experiences in strengthening internal business control mechanisms, ethics and compliance in women-owned/managed businesses.

Supported by the United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) Project, the workshop is part of a series of integrity-strengthening efforts led by the Samoa Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI). The UN-PRAC Project is a joint initiative by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji, and the UNDP Samoa Multi-Country Office (MCO)

“This initiative in Samoa is part of our commitment to making gender equality a reality. Women's empowerment and gender equality, including efforts to prevent corruption and promote business integrity in the Pacific, are vital to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals,” said regional UNDP Anti-Corruption Adviser, Sonja Stefanovska-Trajanoska.  

“This women entrepreneurs workshop offers practical guidance on what constitutes corruption in Samoa, what laws and institutions are used to prevent and fight corruption, and who you can ask for help, in line with international best practices found in the United Nations Convention against Corruption and Sustainable Development Goal 16,” said regional UNODC Anti-Corruption Adviser, Annika Wythes.  

SCCI, UNDP Samoa and UN-PRAC have worked together to produce a Samoa Women Entrepreneurs Anti-Corruption Guide, which was developed after consultations with local Samoan women entrepreneurs on how to safeguard their businesses and not fall prey to corruption risks.

“Corruption can have a devastating impact on local businesses, arguably now more than ever during COVID-19, and this training offers advice on how to protect your business from corrupt practices that women entrepreneurs identified they were confronting,” said UNDP Samoa’s Assistant Resident Representative - Governance, Christina Mualia.

“Women entrepreneurs not only play a crucial role in our community but also contribute positively to the national economy. SCCI is delighted to be collaborating with UN-PRAC and UNDP Samoa to create awareness on early detection and prevention of toxic conditions like corruption,” said the Samoa Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s Chief Executive Officer, Lemauga Hobart Vaai.

UN-PRAC has also undertaken integrity strengthening with women entrepreneurs in Fiji, Solomon Islands and Palau.

The UN-PRAC Project is a joint initiative by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), supported by the New Zealand Government.  UNDP Samoa works closely with the governments of Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tokelau, as well as Non-Government Organizations on development programmes in the areas of Democratic Governance, Sustainable Livelihoods & Poverty Reduction, Crisis Prevention & Recovery, Environment and Energy, and Gender Mainstreaming. 

Two workshops are held in Savaii, at Vaisala today and Salelologa tomorrow, and one in Upolu on Friday this week. 

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About UNODC

UNODC works to counter drugs, crime, terrorism and corruption. It mobilizes and promotes regional and transnational cooperation to confront these threats. Specific efforts are made to target the world’s most vulnerable regions, where the convergence of these issues threatens regional and global security. UNODC works directly with Governments, international organizations, and civil society in undertaking three key actions: field-based technical cooperation projects to enhance the capacity of its Member States; research and analytical work to increase knowledge and understanding of drugs and crime issues; and normative work to assist Member States in the ratification and implementation of the relevant international treaties and the development of domestic legislation on drugs, crime, terrorism and corruption. More at www.unodc.org or follow at @UNODC.

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For more information, or media interviews, please contact: 

Laufaleaina Lesa, Communications Analyst, UNDP Multi Country Office in Samoa, 

E: laufaleaina.lesa@undp.org P: (685) 23670

Emily Moli, Knowledge Communications Analyst, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, 

E: emily.moli@undp.org M: (679) 722 5301

Akara Umapornsakula, Communications Assistant, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, 

E: akara.umapornsakula@un.org  P: (66) 22 88 1906

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