By Alexis R. Milan Staff Reporter
The Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) has been carrying on with its Anti-Corruption Educational Campaign by visiting tertiary institutions throughout the country.
VIP Chairman Hubert Enriquez explained that during their tour they have made visits and heard concerns of young adults from Galen, Sacred Heart Junior College, University of Belize’s Toledo campus and Wesley Junior College.
Enriquez said that during their visits the students they have spoken with have been extremely engaged in discussions about the state of the country, the prevalence of corruption, the lack of public moral and the inactivity of young people in the political landscape.
According to Enriquez, many of the students have voiced their opinion that the government’s reluctance to sign and ratify the United Nation Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) may even be anti-nationalistic.
Enriquez explained that since the tertiary institutions are moving closer to examinations the VIP tour is on a bit of a hiatus until September when the new academic year begins.
Enriquez reaffirmed the VIP commitment to promoting and raising awareness as it relates to anti-corruption and said the VIP will be visiting other institutions.
VIP initially embarked on it Anti-Corruption tour last November culminating with an observance of International Anti-Corruption Day last December 9th, but has since began its educational leg of the campaign.
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.
To date the UNCAC has been ratified by 168 countries world wide as of September 2013, yet Belize has not ratified the convention even though it is a member state of the UN and has ratified many other UN conventions. Belize and Suriname are the only two countries on the Western Hemisphere mainland that have not signed and ratified the UNCAC.