As the world observed International Anti-Corruption Day, the Government of Belize signed the United Nation’s Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).
Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber officially signed the UNCAC treaty on December 9, 2016, so Belize became the 184th country to sign this convention.
After discovering an array of scandals within the Government, the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU), along with citizens of this country and other organizations demanded action from the government. Officials from the Government of Belize and members of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, signed the treaty making the jurisdiction a signatory of the UNCAC.
At the signing ceremony, Faber said expressed his pleasure to make Belize a signatory of the Convention that this will aid in championing the issues of corruption in Belize. He added that it is only one step forward in the development of Belize and that the government is glad to be a part of a global effort in fighting against corruption and fostering the development of countries and their people. The signing reveals the start of the development of the framework for the upcoming work plan of the Government under the Convention.
In his address, Volkmann said, “I can assure you and the people of Belize that the UN, particularly UNODC and UNDP, we are ready to help Belize on its way to bring in the experience from other countries, to bring in the technical expertise this is needed to move forward on a way that in fact is a task of the Belizean government, the Belizean society, to find the right ways to end corruption and be more transparent.”
Prime Minister Barrow signed an Instrument of Accession submitted to the UN Secretary General after the Senate ratified the notion on November 30, 2016.
The UN Convention focuses on 5 main aspects:
– Preventive Measures;
– Criminalization and Law Enforcement;
– International Cooperation;
– Asset Recovery;
– Technical Assistance and Information Exchange.
It also consists of 71 Articles, divided into 8 Chapters. The Convention details anti-corruption measures that signatories are required to implement within their laws and institutions. These measures aim at preventing corruption, including domestic and foreign bribery, embezzlement, trading in influence and money laundering.