The head of global anti-corruption campaign group Transparency International will be the opening speaker at the Caribbean ethics and values conference, to be hosted in the Cayman Islands next year.
Huguette Labelle is chairwoman of the group which works to fight corruption in more than 100 countries worldwide. The group is also responsible for an international Corruption Perceptions index which scores countries on how corrupt their public sectors are seen to be.
Afghanistan, North Korea, Somalia and Sudan were rated lowest in the 2013 index, while Denmark, New Zealand, Finland and Sweden were at the top. The Cayman Islands was not included in the rankings of 177 countries and territories. Barbados was rated the best in the Caribbean and the 15th least corrupt country in the world.
Dr. Livingston Smith, chair of the conference organizing committee, said, “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.”
He said the conference at the University College of the Cayman Islands in March would be a step towards achieving that goal in the Caribbean.
The event will see regional leaders, academics and directors of anti-corruption agencies descend on Cayman to discuss strategies to fight corruption in the Caribbean.
“They will be sharing ideas on how corruption can be reduced and eliminated from all sectors of communities across the region,” UCCI said in a press statement.
Perry Christie, the prime minister of the Bahamas, and Reverend Ralph Gonsalves, prime minister of St. Vincent, will speak about anti-corruption regimes in their countries and the level of corruption in the Caribbean as a whole.
The event in March follows a lecture series at the college focusing on fighting corruption. Roy Bodden, president of UCCI, has said he wants the college to lead the debate on ethics and corruption in Cayman.
He added, “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 behavior, and malfeasance.”
To register for the March 19-21 conference, go to www.UCCIconference.ky.