Dec 09, 2022 News
…say those who take bribe, collude with criminals must be held accountable
Kaieteur News – Noting that corruption disproportionately impacts the most vulnerable in society, the Western Diplomatic community here has called on the Guyana Government to hold to account those who engage in fraud, bribery, and collusion with criminal elements.
“Governments alone cannot solve this social disease, however – civil society and the private sector must also do their part to work collectively with governments to eradicate corruption at all levels. As the year draws to a close, we look forward to more initiatives by the Guyanese government to address and eventually root out corruption,” the ambassadors of the United States of America, Sarah-Ann Lynch; British High Commissioner, Jane Miller; Canadian High Commissioner, Mark Berman and Ambassador of the European Union, René van Nes said in a joint statement to commemorate International Anti-Corruption Day on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the UN Convention against Corruption.
The envoys said that combating corruption requires more than robust legislative framework and that the civil society and the private sector “must also do their part to work collectively with Governments to eradicate corruption at all levels.” The Envoys: U.S. Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch, British High Commissioner, Jane Miller OBE, Canadian High Commissioner, Mark Berman and European Union’s Ambassador to Guyana, René van Nes said while the Guyana Government has held several anti-corruption workshops and developed an anti-corruption manual, more needs to be done to ‘root out corruption’.
“Also, recent amendments to the Representation of the People Act have been made to try to further promote fair and transparent elections. In addition, the revised Natural Resource Fund Act allows for increased transparency and improved management over Guyana’s natural resource wealth. Importantly, amendments to Guyana’s anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism legislation may clear its path to membership in the prestigious Egmont Group, which facilitates cooperation and intelligence sharing among international financial intelligence units to investigate and prevent money laundering and terrorist financing”, the Diplomats said while applauding the Government for those actions.
“However, combatting corruption requires more than a robust legislative framework. In each case where the legal framework allows for best practices, those practices must be implemented for all to see and experience,” the Envoys said while noting that corruption disproportionately impacts the most vulnerable in society. The Diplomats said that as the year comes to an end, “we look forward to more initiatives by the Guyanese Government to address and eventually root out corruption.”
“Guyana’s sturdy anti-corruption policies together with swift responses to evidence-based cases of corrupt practices will clearly demonstrate to Guyana’s citizens, and the rest of the world, that the Government is committed to transparency, accountability, and responsiveness for the future benefit of all Guyanese, the Diplomats said.
Meanwhile, the Joint Statement said that this year’s International Anti-Corruption Day highlights the crucial link between anti-corruption and peace, security, and development. Globally, corruption is a corrosive influence that undermines public faith in institutions resulting in diminished citizen security, stunted economic growth, and a drain on public and private resources.
“As such, we underscore the importance of ensuring improved accountability, increased transparency, and the dismantling of corruption in all its forms to build a more inclusive future for all. Governments at all levels, all around the world, should honor their obligation to tackle corruption. At the local level, Governments should commit to anti-corruption initiatives in collaboration with the public and private sectors as well as civil society. Such cooperation will yield positive outcomes leading to good governance, a robust civil society, respect for the rule of law and the preservation of human rights norms. Strengthening legislative frameworks to deter corrupt practices, promote transparency, and uphold accountability is a key step in addressing corruption,” the statement said.
International Anti- Corruption Day is themed ‘UNCAC at 20: Uniting the World Against Corruption’.
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