A Southeast Asian conference in Indonesia on March 19 called for women’s wider participation in anti-corruption programmes in the region.

The conference’s call was endorsed by nearly 100 participating representatives of governments and civil social organisations from Southeast Asian countries of Indonesia, Cambodia, Timor Leste, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Addressing the conference, Dian Kartikasari, Secretary General of Indonesian Women`s Coalition, said that it is time for women to take the initiative and act more actively in eradicating corruption as the scourge is one of the elements affecting their social welfare.

Meanwhile, Monica Tanuhandaru, officer in charge for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Indonesia, described corruption a major barrier to poverty reduction, human rights exercise and State management.

She said stamping out corruption is an enduring, hard and long combat as the vice is rampant, operates systematically and establishes links with high-position holders working in the public service and business circles.
Also at the conference, participants approved an action plan on anti-corruption, which will be presented to the United Nations high-level panel meeting in Bali on March 24.

The plan focuses on the importance of anti-corruption education and joint actions to raise societal awareness of the values of truth, honesty and transparency, as well as the involvement of grassroots-level women in the consulting process for the building of corruption eradication policies and programs.-VNA