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Aug 21, 2023

A Second Review of Belize’s Implementation of UNCAC

Today at the Leigh Richardson Building in Belmopan, an opening ceremony was held for a review of Belize’s implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, UNCAC. It’s the second reassessment of the country’s standing since ratification back in December 2016. Fast track to this week, officials are in country to meet with government officials on the progress made so far and what revisions, if any, need to be put in to strengthen laws. News Five’s Duane Moody reports. 


Duane Moody, Reporting

The Civil Asset Recovery and Unexplained Wealth Bill, the Whistleblowers Act – they are proposed pieces of legislation that when passed will give teeth to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, otherwise known as the UNCAC. This, along with the establishment of the Integrity Commission, which is in accordance with section three-two and one of the Prevention of Corruption Act Chapter 105 of the Laws of Belize, is among the list of things that will be reviewed by a visiting team from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.


Tanja Santucci

Tanja Santucci, Crime Prevention & Criminal Justice Officer, UNODC

“We look forward to very fruitful deliberations and a constructive dialogue with all of you, the different participants over the next two and a half days and we also appreciate the participation of civil society and the nongovernmental stakeholders in this review exercise. As with all countries, the review process is intended mainly to assist the states under review to more fully implement the UN Convention Against Corruption. As such, the observations may shed light certainly on successes or good practices when it comes to implementing the convention, but also perhaps on areas where additional work may be useful or necessary to more fully implement those principles.”


C.E.O. in the Ministry of Constitutional and Political Reform, Rolando Zetina says that the anticorruption initiatives and mechanisms are paramount to fostering national development.


Rolando Zetina

Rolando Zetina, C.E.O., Ministry of Constitutional & Political Reform

“Our ministry has been arduously implementing measures that will lead to the implementation of UNCAC. We have trained and continue to train public officers in the area of good governance. We have established the Good Governance Unit. The unit is mandated to consolidated all our efforts towards implementing anticorruption measures. We are also meeting with MESISIC, which is the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption and we have had preliminary discussions with Transparency International. This is how committed we are. Our commitment not only upholds the rule of law, but also empowers citizens to actively participate in our country’s progress. We believe that to end corruption, we must first understand corruption.”


The first review was back in 2018 and back then, recommendations were made for the strengthening of the Integrity Commission, which Director of the Good Governance Unit, Cesar Ross says was done. In this second cycle review process, the visiting experts are from Uruguay and the Marshall Islands.


Cesar Ross

Cesar Ross, Director, Good Governance Unit

“They said that what government needs to do is take the steps to make the integrity commission a much more functional and operational entity as such. And what has been happening since last year is that the administration has operationalized the new integrity Commission and is in discussion in empowering them to be able to proceed with much more effective monitoring of their mandate as such. This second cycle is focused on articles five to fourteen of chapter two, preventive measures and fifty-one to fifty-nine of chapter five – asset recovery of the United Nation Convention Against Convention. During the course of the next three days, many questions will be asked, much would have been clarified and Belize will be that much closer to fulfil the implementation of the United Nation Convention Against Corruption.”


Duane Moody for News Five.


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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