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Aug 26, 2003

G.O.B. holds seminar on corruption convention

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The Inter-American Convention against Corruption and its implementation in Belize were the focus of a one-day conference today. Belize signed on to the convention in June 2001 and ratified it in September of last year, becoming the twenty-ninth country to do so. Representatives of the public and private sectors, government, and civil society today sat down to discuss mechanisms to assess the country’s compliance and adherence to the convention. At the start of the conference, Prime Minister Said Musa said stamping out corruption is a task that must be tackled by an enlightened and determined political leadership, through public awareness, support and a motivated private sector.

Prime Minister Said Musa

“Corruption undermines a government’s efforts to eliminate poverty. It entails high economic and social costs. Transaction costs are increased, public revenues are reduced, resource allocation is distorted, investment and economic growth are negatively affected, and the rule of law is weakened. By distorting development decision-making and regulatory frameworks, the poor are denied the benefits of government expenditures and aid flows, as well as the hope of advancement through private sector development. Combating corruption is not an end in itself; it is part of a broader goal of creating more effective, fair and efficient government and of reversing the negative impact of corruption on development and society as a whole. By adopting a holistic approach that includes all the principal actors in the process of anti-corruption reform, we can enhance our capacity to curtail corruption to manageable levels.”

At today’s conference Attorney General Godfrey Smith made a presentation on Belize’s efforts to implement the Inter-American Convention against Corruption. Solicitor General Elson Kaseke has been appointed to a committee to monitor adherence to the Convention. The Prime Minister also announced that a series of seminars for public officers on integrity and good governance will be conducted in Belize by the Canadian Governance Network. Funding for the initiative was provided by the Canadian Government through that country’s International Development Fund.

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