By BBN Staff: Belize will officially accede to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) on World Anti-Corruption Day this Friday, December 9.
The PM’s decision to sign came after the Belize National Teachers Union’s 11 day strike in October. Among its list of demands BNTU demanded GOB sign on to the UNCAC.
The Senate met in a special session to consider and approve a motion authorizing accession to the UNCAC last week.
Following Senate approval, PM Barrow said he would sign the Instrument of Accession, which will be submitted to the UN Secretary General bringing the treaty into force the same day.
The UN adopted the UNCAC in 2003 and the signing conference for the convention was held in Merida, Mexico in December of that year. The People’s United Party (PUP), who were in government from 2003-2008, and the current United Democratic Party (UDP) Government have each had ample opportunities to sign Belize on to the convention but neither party has been willing to do so until now.
For years Belize stood among nations like Syria, North Korea, Japan, Germany and Sudan that have not ratified the UNCAC. Belize and Suriname are the only two countries in the Western Hemisphere yet to sign on to the anti-corruption convention.
The UNCAC was introduced as the world’s first legally binding anti-corruption instrument. It is an eight-chapter document that obliges member states to implement several anti-corruption measures that may affect their laws, institutions and practices.
The measures aim to criminalize certain conducts, strengthen international law enforcement and judicial cooperation, provide effective mechanisms for asset recovery, and provide technical assistance and information exchange systems between member states.
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