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Nov 30, 2016

UNCAC Finally on the Way!

Mark Lizarraga

Also debated before the Senate today is the resolution authorizing the accession by Belize to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). Belize is nine days away from the formal ratification of the UNCAC, but the last major hurdle is confirmation by the Senate. While the Government of Belize has indicated that it was disposed to sign from earlier this year, the final catalyst pushing them to sign was the eleven-day protest by teachers and other social justice warriors in October. The Convention has been painted as a solution to all problems, at least as it relates to corruption and other social ills. But it is more than that, and at the same time, just the beginning of the road to change – change that Senators noted includes the entire society and especially personal behaviour. Senators Mark Lizarraga and Elena Smith of the social partners and Government Senator Doctor Carla Barnett detailed these arguments.


Mark Lizarraga, Senator, Business Community

“We are happy that this first step has been taken; we congratulate the government and we ask the government to please, especially coming up to March next year in the budget, to look at all the measures that we will need to put into place.  All the institutional strengthening that we will need to put this convention into effect.”


Elena Smith

Elena Smith, Senator, Trade Unions/Civil Society

“We must though understand that it is but only a first step. While we are happy with this initial step, we must be vigilant in our monitoring of its full implementation. As mentioned earlier, we have to ensure that there is legislative changes; that there are other mechanisms in place to ensure that we accomplish what these articles are asking us to accomplish. We cannot expect that by signing on to this miracles will happen. We must work and the work must be done by all of us. We must all be looking out. We must all participate in the different measures that   will be put in place so that we can ensure…so that we can be safe and we can know that whatever it is as a country that we need to do to minimize corruption, it will be done because we will all be participating.”


Carla Barnett

Dr. Carla Barnett, Government Senator

“Sometimes it sounds as if people expect that there is some, I describe it as an airplane coming in on the ninth that’s going to bring all of the solutions to the problems and all of a sudden, things are going to be better and we won’t have to worry about corruption anymore. But that’s not going to happen. What we are doing in acceding to this treaty is to commit to yet another intergovernmental agreement and approach to dealing with the problems of corruption in Belize along with the other countries that are party to the UNCAC.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “UNCAC Finally on the Way!”

  1. Truth says:

    Please sign so we dont completely lose our country to incompetent leaders and may they go down in history as corruption at its best… both governments are in the same hole do different

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