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Belize awaits UNCAC recommendations; A.G. counsels patience

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Posted: Wednesday, December 25, 2019. 9:49 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: The states of Tuvalu and Haiti continue to assess Belize’s governance structure to address compliance with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) treaty signed three years ago.

But Attorney General (A.G.) Michael Peyrefitte had sharp words for the Chamber of Commerce, whom he accused on Monday of “trying to stay relevant.”

While an executive summary of recommendations has been prepared, but the final report is needed to tell exactly what laws need to be edited to be compliant.

“The United Nations has told us, it makes no sense for us to engage any process to further UNCAC or any projects until we have the full report,” A.G. Peyrefitte said, citing the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) office in Belize.

Peyrefitte added, “Belize is one of the only nations – I think maybe one or two – we have never missed a deadline, we have never done anything that the U.N. didn’t want us to do, and we have done everything they have asked to do. We can’t do more than that.”

He, therefore, showed his exasperation with those who, in his words, “don’t …understand the process. You have some people, for their own processes, [say], ‘You sign UNCAC tomorrow, you arrest the Prime Minister tonight, or they are not satisfied with UNCAC. That is not how it works. All UNCAC is, is the drafting and putting certain laws on the books that the U.N. wants; we have 85 to 90 percent of those laws on the books. So it will be interesting to see what the detailed report will be, but until then we can’t do anything.”

As to any timeline for completion, Peyrefitte told us, “I don’t instruct the United Nations.”

 

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