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Oct 26, 2018

How Far Along is Government in Implementing UNCAC?

The implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, UNCAC, is moving along at a snail’s pace and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry which has been the primary driver behind the adoption of the multilateral treaty is discontented.  Earlier this week, the business organization wrote to Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte expressing dissatisfaction with the tempo in which certain aspects of the agreement are being carried out.  This is the second letter that has been sent to government in respect of this matter and according to President Nikita Usher, there are legal concerns about the implementation process.

 

Nikita Usher

Nikita Usher, President, Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry

“The Chamber of Commerce had written to the Attorney General back in August asking for status on where they are with the UNCAC implementation process, as we were the, perhaps one of the first founders of pushing that issue.  So we wanted to get some status, as our committee member was reporting that we were not getting much progress.  We did not get a reply to that letter and hence the reason a second letter was sent, I think earlier this week, Monday it might have been, asking for some clarity on the matter, especially since I think when the AG was questioned about it he had said that he had not seen the letter.  So we wanted to just recap where we left off and of course the status.  That’s where we are at this point.  To date, we have not had a response to it.  Of course it’s only one week old, so normally we would expect for them to respond sometime next week.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“What is the situation?  Is it that the attorney general’s ministry and the government, by extension, is not moving fast enough in addressing some of the points in respect of the UNCAC?”

 

Nikita Usher

“Well, UNCAC has several arms to it, but one of our biggest concerns is that when we were initiating that program back then it had to do with the law not having, what UNCAC requires in the law and what we have as a part of our laws right now are not matching up.  Personally, we felt that they should have been a gap analysis started already and today that has not been done.  As far as we’re aware we have not had any report on that being done as yet and we felt that does not need any country assessment to be done, it ought to be done from as early as now and that has not been existent as far as we are aware.”

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