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Feb 28, 2018

Trade Unions Issue Blast on UNCAC Postponement

The National Trade Union Congress of Belize is preparing for its annual general meeting this coming weekend in Dangriga Town. But one of the issues it will be discussing is a response to news from the Government that the country visit of the team of experts supervising Belize’s road to implementing the United Nations Convention against Corruption has been delayed for five months. The team, which consists of experts from Tuvalu and Haiti, should have been in town from Tuesday. But they will be coming in July after being unable to get their U.S. visas and authorization in time. The Congress wonders how experts from the small island nation can conduct an effective and independent assessment of Belize’s compliance with the provisions of the UNCAC, and also the commitment of the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime to go beyond the minimum to help small states like Belize fight corruption. A disappointed N.T.U.C.B. also casts some blame on the Government, noting that the review process commenced last June, months after the original signing in November. The two reviewing states and Belize, it says, necessitated constant dialogue as to the proposed dates for visit. The delay means that Belize continues to suffer from corruption, including losses of money for workers. The NTUCB asks, in conclusion, how serious Belmopan is about its partnership with civil organizations like it to eliminate corruption. News Five reached President Floyd Neal this afternoon, but he delayed comment until after the AGM.

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