UNDP Supports Inaugural Anti-Corruption Conference in JamaicaMar 9, 2015
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Jamaica provided support to the Office of the Contractor General’s Inaugural Anti-Corruption Conference in Jamaica, held in Kingston in March 2015.
The three-day event, which drew hundreds of participants from across the island, was held under the theme “Confronting Corruption: Empowering a Generation, Transforming a Nation.”
UNDP was a title sponsor of the event, and Deputy Resident Representative, Dr. Elsie Laurence-Chounoune, delivered remarks during the official opening ceremony. In her address, Dr. Laurence-Chounoune told the audience that as an organisation focused on sustainable development, UNDP is concerned about the threats corruption poses to a country’s social, political and economic development.
She noted the near-universal adoption of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) by State Parties, including Jamaica which ratified the Convention in 2008, as a sign of global recognition of the far reaching impact of corruption.
In outlining the five key areas of focus for the UNCAC – Prevention, Criminalization, Cooperation in the fight Against Corruption, Asset Recovery and Technical Assistance and Information Exchange – Dr. Laurence-Chounoune recognised the Government of Jamaica’s commitment to anti-corruption through its various actions related to the UNCAC. She explained that the next review cycle to assess countries’ progress towards implementing corruption prevention measures begins in 2016. Accordingly, she urged Jamaica to begin the voluntary self-assessment process to determine its gaps and successes. She said that UNDP was committed to assist the country in this process.
“We stand ready, alongside our sister UN agencies to assist the Government in further implementing the UNCAC, especially in the areas of prevention and the facilitation of regional cooperation on anti-corruption, through the utilization of our tools, systems and regional network of experts and practitioners in this area,” Dr. Laurence-Chounoune stated.
The UN was also represented at the conference by Ms. Virginia de Abajo Marques, regional anti-corruption adviser for Central America and the Caribbean with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC). She shared with the audience, practical anti-corruption measures for investigating and prosecuting white collar crime and the UNCAC.
The UNDP also mounted a booth throughout the three days of the conference and disseminated reports and other literature from the UN on corruption and development.