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Press Releases

Head of Global Anti-Corruption Rating Agency Opens UCCI Ethics Conference
CONCACAF Sponsors UCCI Conference
UCCI Caribbean Conference Transmits Globally
UCCI Conference Issues Communique
Closing Declaration – UCCI Caribbean Conference 2014

For further information please contact:
Kristel Sanchez, PR Director, UCCI

For further information please contact:
Patricia Ebanks, Conference Co-Chair, UCCI

 

Head of Global Anti-Corruption Rating Agency Opens UCCI Ethics Conference

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 12/12/2013

    The head of the organisation that rates governments worldwide on anti-corruption will open the UCCI March 2014 Caribbean ethics and values conference.

    Dr. Huguette Labelle is the Chair of the Board of Transparency International, an organisation that works in more than 100 countries in the fight against corruption. Each year, Transparency International scores countries on a Corruptions Perceptions Index regarding how corrupt their public sectors are seen to be.

    Dr. Labelle will be joined by regional and local heads of states, ministers of government, and directors of anti-corruption agencies. They will be sharing ideas on how corruption can be reduced and eliminated from all sectors of communities across the region.

    Heads of states just last week confirming attendance are the Hon. Perry Christie, Prime Minister of the Bahamas, who will speak on the ethical and anti-corruption framework of the Bahamas; and Dr. the Hon. Ralph Everard Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who will reflect on the state of corruption in the Caribbean as a whole. Other speakers will include academicians, and business, church and community leaders with an interest in furthering the cause of building corruption-free societies.

    Speaking about the importance of raising awareness and educating all sectors of society, Dr. Labelle said: "The fight against corruption cannot succeed unless ethical values are strongly embedded in society's institutions."

    The Chair of Transparency International said that a key challenge was "to make sure that values such as integrity and ethical behaviour characterise the daily work of leaders and institutions that serve the people."

    The president of UCCI, Mr. Roy Bodden, expressed his delight that someone of the calibre and international standing as Dr. Labelle will be opening the March conference.

    "This is possibly the first time that we will have such an array of eminent speakers, and I urge everyone in the Cayman Islands and the region as a whole to take advantage of this opportunity to raise awareness of the challenges our societies face with regard to corruption, unethical behaviour, and malfeasance," he said.

    Adding his endorsement, Dr. Livingston Smith, chair of the conference organising committee, spoke to the leadership of Transparency International in the global fight against corruption. "Transparency International is easily the most powerful organization focusing exclusively on corruption. Its mission is to 'create change towards a world free of corruption' and it seeks to do this by bringing people together in a powerful worldwide coalition to end the devastating impact of corruption on men, women and children around the world."

    Dr. Smith said that he was confident that the March 2014 conference to be opened by Dr. Labelle would do much towards advancing this objective in Caribbean societies.

    Conference keynote speaker Dr. Labelle is also a member of various other boards and bodies, including the Board of the UN Global Compact, the Group of External Advisors on the World Bank Governance and Anti-corruption Strategy, the Advisory Group to the Asian Development Bank on Climate Change and Sustainable Development, the Executive Board of the Africa Capacity Building Foundation, the Global Centre for Pluralism, and the Advisory Council of the Order of Ontario. She is also Vice Chair of the Senior Advisory Board of the International Anti-Corruption Academy and provides advisory services to various national and international organizations.

    Dr. Labelle served for 19 years as Deputy Minister of different Canadian Government departments and is a former Chancellor of the University of Ottawa.

    For further information on Transparency International and its various global activities and surveys, go to www.transparency.org. In addition to the Corruptions Perceptions Index, the organisation's surveys include the "Global Corruption Barometer," the only worldwide public survey on views and experiences on corruption, and a "Bribe Players Barometer," rating the wealthiest nations by their firms' propensity to bribe abroad.

    Members of the public wishing to register for the March 19-21 conference are invited to go to www.UCCIconference.ky. Discounted conference fees are available until 31 December.

 

CONCACAF Sponsors UCCI Conference

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 17,2014

    CONCACAF Sponsors UCCI Caribbean Conference

    The University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) announces that the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), has joined a growing band of sponsors enabling the staging of the March 2014 UCCI Caribbean Conference.

    The aim of the conference is to raise awareness of the potential for corruption and decline in ethical standards across all the various sectors of society, including sports, and the consequent damaging effect on economies and social harmony. The conference will focus on strategies of various regional governments and organisations, public and private, to raise sensitivity to these threats and how to curb and eliminate them.

    This latest decision to sponsor the conference has been taken by Mr. Jeffrey Webb, Vice President of FIFA and President of CONCACAF and the CI Football Association. The Confederation is specifically sponsoring a round table plenary on sports ethics.

    "This is an era of profound opportunity for all of us to make a difference. It is our time to forge a common agenda, to build on solid foundations and guarantee professional excellence," said Mr. Webb. "CONCACAF is making a commitment in the fight against corruption because it is not only about protecting the integrity of football, but also working among all stakeholders involved in order to promote positive role models."

    CONCACAF joins other sponsors such as the National Building Society of Cayman, EY (formerly Ernst & Young), Cayman National Bank, the Cayman Islands Compliance Association, Dart Enterprises, the Cayman Islands Civil Service Association Credit Union, Radio Cayman, among others.

    Expressing his appreciation to the this latest sponsor, CONCACAF, UCCI's President Roy Bodden noted the integral role of sports in life in the Cayman Islands, and the importance of football in the lives of our young boys and girls, men and women.

    "We appreciate the interest and immense effort that Mr. Webb exerts in furthering the place of football in the Cayman Islands and, indeed, in the region, Mr. Bodden said. "By supporting the conference, he further ensures that our values of integrity and ethics are preserved not only in sports but in the community as a whole."

    Conference Director Dr. Livingston Smith also added his gratitude, "The Conference Planning Committee is extremely grateful that CONCACAF is on board." By doing so, Dr. Smith said, "CONCACAF shows its recognition of the importance of focusing on ethical issues in all aspects of society."

    The UCCI conference opens on 19 March with keynote speaker Dr. Huguette Labelle, the head of the organisation that rates governments worldwide on anti-corruption.

    Dr. Labelle is the Chair of the Board of Transparency International, an organisation that works in more than 100 countries in the fight against corruption. Each year, Transparency International scores countries on a Corruption Perceptions Index regarding how corrupt their public sectors are seen to be.

    Dr. Labelle will be joined by regional and local heads of states, ministers of government, and directors of anti-corruption agencies. They will be sharing ideas on how corruption can be reduced and eliminated from all sectors of communities across the region.

    Already slated to attend are Prime Minster Perry Christie of the Bahamas and Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It is anticipated that Bermuda's Premier, the Hon. Craig Cannonier or his designate will attend.

 

UCCI Caribbean Conference Transmits Globally

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 19 March 2014

    UCCI Caribbean Conference Transmits Globally

    With speakers coming from as far away as Africa and Europe, and with its wide regional representation, UCCI is taking to the world its Caribbean Conference opening this evening Wednesday (March 19). It will be the first of its four conferences to broadcast live globally by video streaming.

    The conference will thereby be accessible to anyone with a mobile device or computer.

    The aim of the conference is to raise awareness of the potential for corruption and the decline in ethical standards across all the various sectors of society, and the consequent damaging effects on economies and social harmony. The conference will focus on strategies of various regional and extra-regional governments and organisations, public and private, to raise sensitivity to these threats and how to curb and work to eliminate them.

    The conference will feature an assemblage of speakers including Caribbean Prime Ministers, a Premier, ministers of government, board chairs, heads of authorities, as well as persons drawn from academia, civil society and the clergy. These thought leaders and other conference attendees are drawn from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, the USA, Germany, Canada, the UK, and from across the geo-political range of the Caribbean.

    Persons wishing to access the conference proceedings should go to www.UCCIconference.ky, and link from a homepage banner or the "Press" menu item.

    This video-streaming capability is being arranged by Audio Video Solutions, courtesy of "silver" sponsor Logic Communications. Cayman Islands Government Information Services (GIS), itself a conference gold sponsor, is donating its videography services for the live streaming. UCCI anticipates that the video presentations by the various speakers will subsequently be placed on YouTube for worldwide viewing as well.

    The president of UCCI, Mr. Roy Bodden, expressed his delight that home country audiences would have access to ideas from their countries' leaders as well as from those from other parts of the globe assembled here for the conference.

    "This is possibly the first time that we will have such an array of eminent speakers, and I urge everyone in the Cayman Islands and the region as a whole to take advantage of this opportunity to be sensitised to the challenges our societies face with regard to corruption, unethical behaviour, and malfeasance," President Bodden said.

    Adding his endorsement, Dr. Livingston Smith, chair of the conference organising committee, said that he was particularly delighted that the conference had been able to secure the support of the video solutions company and sponsors that had made video transmission financially possible. He thanked Logic Communications for its generosity and Audio Video Solutions for so quickly taking up the challenge of organising the video streaming.

    "We are really happy that audiences in Jamaica will be able to listen to their Leader of the Opposition, for example, while Vincentians and Bahamians can listen to their Prime Ministers," Dr. Smith said. This was equally true for Nigerians, who could listen to their Minister of Finance, while citizens in Sierra Leonie have the opportunity to listen to Commissioner Joseph Kamara, who has such a remarkable reputation for fighting corruption in his home country, he said.

    "I am pleased, too, that worldwide branches of Transparency International -- represented at the conference by board chair Dr. Huguette Labelle, conference opening keynote speaker -- will be able to tune in to listen to their organisations' director.

    For further information and to register for the March 19-21 conference please to go to UCCI Caribbean Conference 2014.

 

UCCI Conference Issues Communique

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 25 March 2014

    UCCI Conference Calls for Anti-Corruption State Agency

    At the close of the UCCI Caribbean anti-corruption and ethics conference on Friday (21 March), a declaration was issued that, amongst other proclamations, called upon Caribbean governments to consider, as a matter of priority, establishing an anti-corruption state agency. This body should be endowed with powers of arrest, investigation, and prosecution of all corruption offences, the communique declared.

    The declarations were presented by Dr. Trevor Munroe, Executive Director of the National Integrity Action, Jamaica, a branch of Transparency International. Transparency International, with branches in over 100 countries, rates governments, business, and other institutions on anti-corruption scales.

    In addition to local and overseas delegates, the conference brought together 121 overseas and local presenters from 15 countries in the Caribbean as well as from North America, Europe and Africa. Among them presenters were leaders of government, members of legislatures, and representatives of civil society, tertiary institutions, churches and media houses.

    In formulating the declaration, the conference arrived at a consensus regarding a number of areas of growing concern. These included the multi-faceted and interconnected nature of corruption, cutting across all sectors of society; its effect on economies and social harmony; and the need for strong and committed leaders, setting examples for the populace.

    The communique called for cultivating a “culture of transparency,” and recognition that “education is key in building strong ethical individuals in our society.”

    The declaration, however, noted that “values and morality, trust and ethics in government require more than legislation.” There must be a concerted effort throughout the various sector of the social order. “The attainment of these values requires the integrated effort of the entire society and its constituent elements and institutions – legislative, executive, political, judicial, religious or civil – all engaging with each other to ensure transparency and accountability and good governance,” the declaration announced.

    In addition to establishing a state anti-corruption agency, key recommendations to Caribbean Governments were that each should:

    • develop, design, and institute, as a matter of urgency, legislation and regulations to register political parties to regulate party funding and campaign financing.

    • establish an independent procurement regulator to monitor and to investigate the award of government contracts, sub-contracts and licences, with the objective of ensuring probity, transparency, competition and value for money in the said awards. It is imperative that the regulator be given the power to halt proposed awards in instances of suspected irregularity or impropriety. Equally imperative is the need to apply strong penalties for breaches of procurement guidelines.

    • give consideration to the public filing and disclosure of assets, income and liabilities for all parliamentarians and critical level public officials.

    • Impose tough criminal and civil sanctions upon private sector entities for the bribery of public officials and require them to develop, implement and enforce company-wide anti-bribery compliance programmes.

    • consider significant improvement to the remuneration of media workers, especially journalists across the region, as a way of increasing the likelihood of ‘bolder’ journalism. At the same time, re-examining libel laws across the region with the objective of encouraging more media freedom and less tame journalism.

    The aim of the conference conducted at UCCI from 19 to 21 March, was to raise awareness of the potential for corruption and the decline in ethical standards across all the various sectors of society, and the consequent damaging effects on economies and social harmony. The conference focused on strategies that could be employed by various regional and extra-regional governments and organisations, public and private, to raise sensitivity to these threats and how to curb and work to eliminate them.

    See the full communique attached.

 

Closing Declaration – UCCI Caribbean Conference 2014

    Closing Declaration – UCCI Caribbean Conference 2014 (Presented by Prof. Trevor Munroe, Executive Director NIA Visiting Honorary Professor, Sir Arthur Lewis Institute, UWI on behalf of the Conference Committee)

    The UCCI Caribbean Conference 2014 “Towards a Corruption-Free Caribbean; Ethics, Values, Trust and Morality” held between the 19th and 21st of March 2014, constituted a significant success and marked an important milestone in the Caribbean’s engagement with anti-corruption issues on a broad basis. Throughout the Conference, participants and attendees expressed fulsome praise and sincere appreciation for the UCCI Board of Governors, President, Conference Co-Chairs and committee members as well as to the sponsors and Government of the Cayman Islands for their contribution to this exceptional event.

    In scale and quality the conference was unprecedented across the region. It brought together 120 presenters from 15 countries in the Caribbean but as well from North America, Europe and Africa. The Conference was multi-sectorial . Leaders of government, members of legislatures, and representatives of the private sector, civil society, tertiary institutions, churches, and media houses came together for the deliberations.

    The conference was also multi-disciplinary. It drew on expertise and experience of political scientists, sociologists, psychologists, ethicists, theologians, environmentalists, attorneys-at-law, medical scientists, accountants, and, very importantly, present and past officials of anti-corruption commissions and authorities.

    Opened by Her Excellency the Governor Helen Kilpatrick, the conference conducted its work in no less than 16 plenary sessions. The formal opening, chaired by Professor Trevor Munroe, Executive Director of National Integrity Action, Jamaica, received with great appreciation a comprehensive keynote address from Dr. Huguette Labelle, Chair of the Board of Transparency International, the world’s leading anti-corruption non-governmental organization with chapters in over 100 countries.

    Subsequent plenaries benefited from outstanding and thoughtful presentations including that from Dr. the Hon. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance for the Federal Republic of Nigeria and former Managing Director at the World Bank; from the Hon. Perry Christie, Prime Minister of the Bahamas; from the Hon. Andrew Holness, MP, Leader of the Opposition in Jamaica and former Prime Minister of Jamaica, among others. Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who had had to change his plans to travel to the conference because of urgent matters at home, sent his message and a senior member of his government to present it. The Premier of Bermuda also sent a senior official to represent him.

    In addition, much discussion took place in four pre-conference workshops, nine round tables and twelve panels, attended notably by students of UCCI as well as the public. Attendees interacted appreciatively with invited presenters.

    The subjects covered in plenaries, panels, round tables and workshops were extraordinarily wide-ranging, comprehensive and of special relevance to the current challenges facing the Caribbean and the wider, global community in more effectively combating corruption and building integrity. Amongst the subjects were those related to:

    Ethics-

    • The role of tertiary institutions’ in safeguarding ethical standards,
    • Teaching civic values to the present generation,
    • The role of the church in preserving and enhancing ethics and, very significantly,
    • Ethics relating to different sectors, namely, medicine, law, sexual relations, the environment, and sports.

    Role of Technology - this was offered especially in the context of relation to curbing corruption and engaging the citizenry in that process.

    The Sphere of Culture – this focus was presented particularly with regard to the culture of leadership; the culture of compliance with codes of conduct, particularly in the public service; the culture of the media; and, very interestingly, the culture of Dancehall.

    The Dimension of Institutions – this was delivered particularly with regard to the strength and weaknesses of National Integrity Systems in the Caribbean; anti-corruption frameworks; different models of anti-corruption institutions – whether single, multiple or unspecific anti-corruption agencies; the role of the bureaucracy, particularly with regard to the implications for corruption of levels of efficiency. In addition, the need for robust financial services’ regulation was stressed.

    And, finally, not to be left out, discussion also focused on the critical importance of the private sector and civil society organizations in combatting corruption and building integrity.

    During the course of the conference there were much lively debate, penetrating questions and insightful answers. Out of all of this emerged a consensus regarding a number of areas of growing concern. Amongst these – though certainly not exhaustively -- were the following:

    1. The effects of corruption are truly multifarious and interconnected, negatively impacting the political, economic, social and environmental sectors of societies. From the political side, corruption impedes democracy and the rule of law, erodes the legitimacy of public institutions, and brews cynicism among the populace, thus reducing the population’s participation in public policy and decision-making. It can also lead to political instability. As important, corruption in public administration subverts formal processes, resulting in the inefficient provision of services.

    From the economic perspective, corruption depletes national wealth, increases costs of goods and services and leads to unhealthy competition. It can cripple economic growth and development by reducing the level of direct investment and by causing significant distortions and inefficiencies.

    From the social perspective, corruption leads to more inequality in society, causes political tribalism and even war, weakens civil society and increases poverty by marginalizing the poor. When citizens know of corruption, it affects their psychological health as they become angry and frustrated.

    2. A critical step in limiting corruption and promoting ethics is to have strong and committed leadership at the top setting an example. As such, leaders must create a culture of transparency and integrity within institutions, instituting zero tolerance to corruption.

    Further, this positive leadership must ensure that people throughout their institutions do what is right. They act by setting codes of ethics for all to follow, setting up policies, training systems, incentives and disincentives.

    3. A vital element in promoting ethics and preventing corruption is to ensure a culture of transparency in the areas where it matters most -- at the heart of government, in the institutions that defend the public, offer security, and serve the public well.

    4. Education is key in building strong ethical individuals in our society. A huge area of discussion at the conference was with regard to the potential of combatting corruption through education. The consensus was that the most effective strategy lies in incorporating ethics in the education system from the youngest classrooms through to the PhD level.

    Teaching ethics throughout the education system will sow the seeds for better societies. With nearly a fifth of the world’s population between 15 and 24 years old, young people have the potential to stop corruption both as the citizens of today and as the leaders of tomorrow.

    5. We should not overlook how interdependent ethics in one society is upon global society. The opportunity to escape detection and penalty for corruption in one country can undermine efforts to prevent corruption in another.

    Every country, therefore, has a responsibility to introduce effective anti-money laundering measures: anonymous firms and secret bank accounts should not be used to launder the proceeds of corruption. It’s a question of integrity, investor interest and of reputation for all countries.

    6. There must be recognition, however, that values and morality, trust and ethics in government require more than legislation. It cannot be relegated to commissions instituted by government to measure the probity and integrity of politicians and public officials or to introduce laws or codes of ethics. The attainment of these values requires the integrated effort of the entire society and its constituent elements and institutions – legislative, executive, political, judicial, religious, civil -- all engaging with each other to ensure transparency and accountability and good governance.

    Caribbean citizens must be encouraged to remind themselves that personal example is still the most powerful and credible influence upon others and the most persuasive of teachers.

    7. In so far as institutions are concerned there was much discussion, summarized as follows:

    a) Every Caribbean country should --

    • consider as a matter of priority, the appropriateness of the establishment of a single independent anti-corruption state agency, with specialist resources. These capabilities must include exclusive criminal investigatory and prosecutorial jurisdiction, and full police powers of arrest and detention. These powers must extend to all corruption offences.
    • develop, design, and institute, as a matter of urgency, legislation and regulations to register political parties to regulate party funding and campaign financing.
    • establish an independent procurement regulator to monitor and to investigate the award of government contracts, sub-contracts and licences, with the objective of ensuring probity, transparency, competition and value for money in the said awards. It is imperative that the regulator be given the power to halt proposed awards in instances of suspected irregularity or impropriety. Equally imperative is the need to apply strong penalties for breaches of procurement guidelines.
    • give consideration to the public filing and disclosure of assets, income and liabilities for all parliamentarians and critical level public officials.
    • Impose tough criminal and civil sanctions upon private sector entities for the bribery of public officials and require them to develop, implement and enforce company-wide anti-bribery compliance programmes.
    • consider significant improvement to the remuneration of media workers, especially journalists across the region, as a way of increasing the likelihood of ‘bolder’ journalism. At the same time, re-examining libel laws across the region with the objective of encouraging more media freedom and less tame journalism.
    • b) The development of nonpartisan and strategically planned grassroots community organizing is crucial in order to continuously remind elected officials that they in fact answer to the greater electorate and not political factions.

      The mantra of UCCI Caribbean Conference 2014 was Connect, Share, Inspire. The Conference did connect with the broadest cross-section of Caymanian society which attended its many sessions and tuned into the many radio discussions in which invited attendees participated; it shared in the rich diversity of experience and expertise of the speakers in plenary, panels, round tables and workshops, and it inspired many to convert words into deeds and talk into action in more effectively combating corruption and building integrity.

      In the motivational words of the Hon. Minister of Finance from Nigeria, “I don’t if we will ever have a corruption-free world in either Nigeria or the Caribbean, but I can tell you that a combination of real-life tools, coupled with endearing and supportive value systems, can make a huge difference. Where there is political will, brave men and women willing to fight, and a drive to build institutions and apply them properly, corruption can be fought.”

      At the end of the proceedings, all participants left motivated and energized with the refrain of the outstanding UCCI choir which performed in the uplifting cultural interlude at the conference’s opening: “It’s been a long time coming, but change will come; oh, yes, it will.”

 

 

 
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