Belize Government Launches UNCAC Implementation Review
The Government of Belize held an opening ceremony this morning for the UNCAC Implementation Review. It is an initiative by the government to oversee the full implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) whilst keeping the country abreast of the progress. Tanja Santucci, a respected international expert on anti-corruption measures and the UNCAC review process, provided a comprehensive overview of the review’s scope and methodology. She shared insights into the assessment criteria and highlighted the importance of collaborative efforts in tackling corruption. Her presentation shed light on the significance of these reviews for Belize’s continuous improvement in its anti-corruption endeavours.
Tanja Santucci, International Expert on Anti Corruption Measures: “We’re here at the invitation of the government for the implementation review mechanism under the UN Convention Against Corruption. As part of the review mechanism each country, there are 189 states that are party to the convention are reviewed by two other states. UNODC is the secretariate we coordinate and facilitate the process and we’re here now for a visit to complement and supplement the desk review at the invitation of the government. So Ministry of Public Service and Political and Constitutional Reform and Religious Affairs is coordinating the visit and a large number o different participants will be present with us for two and a half days of meetings.”
Reporter: Any message that you’d want to send to the people of Belize ?
Tanja Santucci, International Expert on Anti Corruption Measures: “We express our thanks on behalf of the review team for coordinating and organizing the visit, for providing a large amount of information in order tot ake stock and assess progress on anti corruption measures and to provide information to the reviewing experts from Uruguay and the Marshall Islands to help them carry out the review and we wish the government all the success in the followup to the view process in hopefully putting the observations into practice and to continue in the reforms that have already been initiated. I think a lot of work has already been done. Certainly we’ve seen the creation of new institutions like the good governance unit, the strengthening and amendment of legislation that work will certainly continue building also on work that was initiated after the first cycle review so we are confident that those efforts will only continue going forward.”
Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Public Service, Rolando Zetina was one of the speakers on this morning’s panel. In his remarks, he expressed Belize’s commitment to fighting corruption and fostering transparency. He emphasized the importance of international cooperation in the battle against corruption and highlighted the government’s dedication to aligning its policies with UNCAC standards.
Rolando Zetina, CEO, Ministry of Public Service: “Our ministry has been arduously implementing measures that will lead to the implementation of UNCAC. We have trained and continue to train public officers in the area of good governance. We have established the good governance unit. The unit is mandated to consolidate all our efforts towards implementing anti corruption measures. We are also meeting with MESICIC who is the InterAmerican Convention Against Corruption and we have had preliminary discussions with Transparency International. This is how committed we are. Our commitment not only upholds the rule of law but also empowers citizens to actively participate in our country’s progress. We believe that to end corruption we must first understand corruption. We are moving in sync with Plan Belize’s comprehensive vision for sustainable development. A resolute stance against corruption to pave the way for equitable opportunities, social justice, and a thriving economy for the benefit of all Belizeans. Over the next few days our collective focus will be on a matter of utmost importance; the relentless pursuit of a corruption free world. Corruption undermines the very fabric of our nation. It erodes trust, impedes progress and hinders the realization of sustainable development goals. The next few days is not just a meeting of the minds it is a testament to the government’s shared commitment to uphold the value of good governance within our society. This government continues to demonstrate it’s dedication to upholding the principles enshrined in the convention and advancing the cause of anti corruption efforts. To our esteem representatives from the UNODC we extend our warmest greetings.”
In his presentation, Cesar Ross, Director of the Good Governance Unit, highlighted the pivotal role this unit plays in creating a more accountable, just, and equitable society. Ross underscored Belize’s strides in strengthening its institutions and mechanisms to ensure that corruption is dealt with effectively.