Strong Australian focus on anti-corruption efforts
Michael Wilson, assistant secretary at the Governance, Fragility and Water branch at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, recently came to visit our U4 Anti-Corruption resource Centre to learn more about their anti-corruption work and services, and to fill us in on the Australian government’s focus in their anti-corruption efforts.
We asked him three quick questions about the Australian priorities:
-What are Australia’s main priorities in development politics?
-Our strongest focus is on the Indo-Pacific region. The most important policies are currently focused on gender equality and the empowerment of women. As much as 80 % of our projects has empowerment of women as a primary or secondary objective.
We are also strengthening our focus on the quality of institutions and anti-corruption. We are looking at the role of donors in general in order to ensure that we work in a more coordinated fashion.
-What are the priorities in your anti-corruption work?
-Australia is now a member of the UN Human Rights Council. One of the platforms for our election to the council was the closing of civil society space and the role of a healthy civil society in well-functioning societies. This is closely linked to our focus on the quality of institutions in our anti-corruption work. We put emphasis on transparency and public accountability of governments in providing basic services to the citizens.
-How can the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade use the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre’s work?
-The U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre is useful because it cooperates with a wide range of partners. U4 gives us access to networks that provide us with the opportunity to understand experiences with anti-corruption work all over the world, and provide us with an overview of which anti-corruption approaches have been tried in different countries. Without suggesting that any approach can easily be transferred to a different context, it still provides us with useful experiences and lessons learnt.
On our part, we can bring to the anti-corruption conversation a knowledge about how effective government functions are in the Pacific.