Last year on International Anti-Corruption Day, December 9, Belize signed onto the United Nation’s Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) making it the one-hundred-eighty-fourth country to sign the convention. This came after several demands from civil society and a number of non-government organizations. In January, the government started to take steps toward the implementation of UNCAC, including selecting a project board. Then, in May, the government conducted a self-assessment in order to strengthen the national systems for the implementation of UNCAC. To date, even though Belize has signed onto UNCAC, it still needs to be implemented.
The UNCAC implementation falls under the Attorney General Office and Love News asked the Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte about the implementation of
Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte
“How the UNCAC works is like this, you sign onto the convention then you go through a series of trainings as to what being a member of UNCAC is. In June I went to Vienna Austria to the UN Headquarters that deals with drugs and crime and what we were there to do was to pick the two nations who will assess us and the two nations who were picked from a draw were Haiti and Tuvalu. We came to August we were ready to submit that self-assessment well before August 25th and what has happened since then is they’ve had to be translating the document that we submitted from English to French because Haiti speaks French so the UN is translating that document. By the end of this month the translation should be over with and then by the end of December Haiti and Tuvalu will submit a joint report; what is called an executive summary as to where we match up in terms of our checklist and the UN standards and then in January Tuvalu and Haiti will visit Belize to do a state party visit where they will talk to the different experts- the DPP, the Auditor General, FIU people- to get a sense as to how we address certain aspects of corruption. Subsequent to that Haiti and Tuvalu will submit the recommendations that Belize needs to make and its only at that point then that we would look to implement the laws that were being recommended by those two countries so that is the process. Belize we are well within time with everything we are doing.”
Peyrefitte added that a corruption week will be coming up and this will be used to create awareness.