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NTUCB President says GOB Needs to Urgently Ratify UNCAC

US President Joe Biden will host the first Summit for Democracy to be held for two days starting tomorrow. The summit will bring together leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector to set forth an affirmative agenda for democratic renewal and to tackle the greatest threats faced by democracies today through collective action. Combating corruption will be a central theme of the Summit, to which Belize is invited. The event coincides with International Anticorruption Day on Thursday. Meanwhile, in Belize, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) under President Luke Luis Martinez has embarked on a 21 days anti-corruption campaign under the theme, “Your right, your role: Say no to corruption”. In 2016 Belize ratified the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) which still has several elements incomplete. Martinez is calling on the Briceno Administration to give more urgency and attention to the incomplete requirements.

Luke Martinez, NTUCB President: We’ve written to the minister of Public Service about the UNCAC and the laws that falls under UNCAC and so you’d remember that there was a steering committee. And so that steering committee haven’t met in a long while. So we’ve reached out to a minister of Public Service, to remind him of that steering committee and our willingness to continue to push for laws that fall under the UNCAC  mechanism. “

Hipolito Novelo, Love News: And speaking of anti-corruption laws and legislations. I believe the Prime Minister on Friday explained  that some of those draft bills or papers have been given to the unions for feedback. What’s the update on that? 

Luke Martinez, NTUCB President: Yes, so Hipolito whenever you speak to who is supposed to be the experts at the Attorney General’s Ministry they talk about the research and drafters and seeking assistance from ILO to assist in those draftings and come up with something that would work for Belize. And for us at the National  Trade Union Congress  we have to do our research with the very limited resources that are available to us. I remember in 2012 we had a leader who had promised to have a double bladed machete to chop corruption every time it rears its head. That hasn’t happened. If that happened, then we would have had the laws in place. So I think this is from 2016 when the unions were pushing for it. So, if they were serious about dealing with corruption then I’m making that point now to make reference to this administration who came with a triple bladed machete If you want to say. They went as far as to presenting a good governance motion and this motion has to do with reform and it has to do with how we’ll tackle corruption. And when the Government of Belize s wants to pass a law they ram those laws on us.”