The UNODC has announced a partnership with USP that will help with research about integrity problems facing sport in the Pacific ©UN

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has announced a partnership with the University of the South Pacific (USP) that will help with research about integrity problems facing sport in the Pacific region.

Announced at the Oceania Sport and Sustainable Development Goals Strategic Partners Forum, the initiative will be supported by the New Zealand Government through UNODC's Teieniwa Vision Anti-Corruption Project.

The Forum is being organised in Brisbane on the side-lines of the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) General Assembly.

The tie-up called Review of Pacific Sport Integrity will see the USP's Pacific Centre for Sport and Sustainable Development provide "evidence-based assessments to aid policy-making" in the region.

"The Pacific is not immune to corruption in sport, but the paucity of available data makes it difficult to tailor appropriate actions to reduce the impact of this type of criminality," said Dr Giulio Masasso Tu’ikolongahau Paunga, deputy vice-chancellor and vice-president of regional campuses and global engagement at USP.

"This new partnership will strengthen the ties between academia and UNODC in this still unchartered and under-researched subject in the Pacific."

According to a UNODC, there is a lack of dedicated research at national and local levels in many Pacific countries.

It is hoped that the UNODC-USP initiative will help identify key integrity areas for sport in the Pacific.

"The project will leverage sport to promote integrity, in line with the 2030 Agenda, and aligned with the USP Strategic Plan 2022-2024 and the Pacific Sport, Physical Activity and Physical Education (SPAPE) Action Plan 2019 – 2030," read a statement from UNODC.

"Through its Programme on Safeguarding Sport from Corruption and Crime, UNODC has delivered over 200 activities including awareness-raising, capacity-building and technical assistance to over 9,000 direct beneficiaries from more than 140 countries, since 2017."