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Jul 10, 2018

UNCAC Consultations Begin with Round of Meetings in Belize City

A team from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, as well as representatives from Haiti and Tuvalu, began a round of consultations this morning with local officials from various government agencies, including the D.P.P.’s office.  The working visit is to assess Belize’s standing in areas relating to legislation, corruption and law enforcement.  The exercise falls within the ambit of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, UNCAC, to which the country became a signatory in 2016.  Today marked the first of a three-day series of meetings during which Solicitor General Nigel Hawke gave a synopsis of laws that are on the books which conform to the expectations of UNCAC.

 

Nigel Hawke, Solicitor General

Nigel Hawke

“They’ve started today.  I was here basically to just give a general overview of some of the laws that we already have in place and some of the gaps that we’ve already identified.  I just concluded my presentation.  So now they’re dealing with, we’re in Cycle Two, I believe.  We’re dealing with criminalization and law enforcement, so the personnel that we would have here would be the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the police department and, I think, the judiciary.  They are here.  So the team from Haiti, Tuvalu and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime will be here to analyze our status, our laws in relation to those areas, criminalization and so on and enforcement.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“This is an overall assessment of where Belize stands, in terms of its laws and what have you, I believe it’s to comply with what we’ve agreed upon.  What is the strength of the presentation in terms of our legal system and where the constitution of Belize lies?”

 

Nigel Hawke

“Well it’s almost like what I would refer to very, very cautiously as a gap analysis.  From what we’ve looked at, we think we are substantially there.  We have a number of pieces of legislation that support our fight against corruption.  There is still more to be done because some legislation that we have, they need to be updated, probably further amendments and then there are some that we don’t have, for example, whistleblower legislation.  We don’t have legislation in relation to civil asset recovery where instances you found that the persons have probably stolen assets of the state.”

 

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