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Sep 5, 2016

Senator Representing Trade Unions Records Support for UNCAC Signing

Signing on to the United Nations anti-corruption convention is picking up steam. Government maintained for some time that it would not; but last week, there was a softening of position following a meeting between the Prime Minister and Belize Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber is pushing for the initiative and on Saturday at the Expo Belize Marketplace launched a campaign. During the meeting with the Chamber, the PM agreed to revisit the issue, but said he had resisted because it is costly and would impact a number of national issues such as the loss of correspondent banking. Sitting on the couch this morning, the senator representing the unions, Elena Smith, said the unions are in favor of ascribing to the UNCAC and are joining the Chamber’s efforts.

 

Elena Smith

Elena Smith, Union Senator

“We see throughout all the reports where there is blatant disregard for following procedures and policies. And so I believe that policies and procedures must be put in place and those people who enter the service must be well versed on what those policies and procedures are for them to be able to carry out their functions properly. If you look throughout all three documents, apart from the names that you will find—so many names—it is consistent with what caused us to be where we are and that is that people were not following what they were doing. We look at people extending from, stemming from driver to teacher to JPs to minister to Prime Minister—it is from all the way down to all the way to the to—who have been involved in not following procedures and not following protocol. And that is where we are. So I believe that the anti-corruption convention is very important at this time. And I believe that as unions and chamber together, as we have agreed that we will be working together, we need to push for that to be signed on to. But not only signed on to, we have to enforce what is in there.”

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