Archive for September, 2009

Belize gets low score in Transparency International corruption report 2009

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

Transparency International (TI), the international organization leading the fight against corruption, has released the Global Corruption Report 2009: Corruption and the Private Sector. According to this TI’s report, Belize is listed at #111 of 180 countries. The report gives Belize a 2.9 score on a scale where 0 is highly corrupt to 10 is highly clean.

Compared with the results of the Global Corruption Report 2008 that focused on Corruption in the Water Sector, Belize’s position has become worse as it was ranked at 99 with a score of 3.0 in 2008.

Being ranked 111th, Belize was ranked above Nigeria, Honduras, Venezuela and Somalia.
Belize’s sister nation, St. Lucia, received a much higher score of 7.1, while Guatemala was ranked 98 with 3.1.

The Global Corruption Report 2009 points out that the private sector, just as governments, should follow the principles of transparency and accountability.

Belizean professionals ready for Belize’s integration into the multilateral and regional trading system

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

On September 15, the University of Belize (UB) and the Organization of American States (OAS) launched a 9-day International Trade Certificate Course titled “The Integration of Belize into the Multilateral and Regional Trading System” in Belize City.

The course was opened by Sylvia Cattouse, UB’s dean of enterprise development and administration and lecturer in international business.

Kim Hurtault-Osborne, the OAS Representative to Belize, said, “If Belize is going to take advantage of opportunities in trade, then it is important to understand the rules of the game – whether this entails understanding…as we negotiate new trade agreements, or recognizing the benefits of the ones already signed and how best we implement them. The fact is, the better informed we are, the better our decision-making, the easier it is for us to avoid costly mistakes”. He added that the training could help Belizeans tailor policies and business practices as well as improve education strategies.

The course organizers aim to cover such issues as trade in services, multi-lateral and bilateral rules for investment, trade facilitation and standards, market access for goods, small and vulnerable economies.

Sacred Maya pools of Belize under research

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

The research team led by archeologist Lisa Lucero from the University of Illinois will be the 1st to dive the sacred pools of the southern Maya lowlands.

More than 20 years have been spent by Lucero to study settlements and sacred sites that were important to the Maya in Belize. Also, he has been studying works under the auspices of the Institute of Archeology, which is part of the National Institute of Culture and History, Government of Belize.

The sediment samples that will be taken after mapping for fragile Maya artifacts will provide a record of changes in surface and water conditions. The divers will videotape and map the pools as well as the artifacts they find.

NTUCB seeks help

Monday, September 7th, 2009

According to President of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), Dylan Reneau, the unions have not given up their positions that were stated in their press conference in August when they called on the Barrow administration to rescind amendments to settle disputes in essential services legislation.

Reneau spoke between the NTUCB and Prime Minister Dean Barrow. He said that Barrow had suggested to the unions to draft proposals in order to strengthen the dispute resolution process set out in the legislation. The amendments put the unions at a major disadvantage.

Reneau said that the NTUCB is soliciting the help of the sub-regional office of the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Trinidad and Tobago in this issue. With the help of ILO it will draft their proposals to the Government. The unions hope the dispute resolution mechanism currently set out in the legislation has to be strengthened.