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NIA becomes full chapter of Transparency International

Published:Sunday | March 15, 2015 | 6:42 PM
José Ugaz (left), chairman of Transparency International (TI), shares an embrace with Professor Trevor Munroe, executive director of National Integrity Action (NIA), during a new members induction ceremony and signing of the NIA/TI Chapter Agreement, held yesterday at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

Jamaica has taken another step forward in the fight against corruption with the National Integrity Action (NIA) becoming a full chapter of Transparency International.

Transparency International is a non-governmental organisation devoted to combating corruption. It focuses on prevention and reforming systems.

The move was cemented yesterday during a ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

"National Integrity Action has been working to strengthen accountability and integrity to combat corruption for the past three years. Resulting from that the Jamaican people have given their indication of appreciation. Twenty-three per cent say that our work is good or very good, and 59 per cent say it's average," Trevor Munroe, executive director of the NIA, told The Gleaner.

"More importantly, in the global corruption barometer study, 77 per cent of Jamaicans wanted to join an anti-corruption organisation. That coincides with our desire to extend ourselves beyond the next advocacy group and to bring as many Jamaicans who stand for accountability and greater transparency into the movement," he added.

Munroe stated that he expected the fight against corruption to strengthen following the merger.

"We also hope and expect that this step today, when the historians write about these years, shall mark a milestone for Jamaica in building a social movement for integrity," he said.

"NIA alone cannot be that movement but we are and need to be among the pioneers, the core of that movement which needs to include diverse bodies," Munroe continued.

A total of 54 individuals also became members of the NIA, 75 per cent of whom Munroe indicated are under age 30.

"Of course, we are happy for the older heads and the men who are joining us today, and we need more of them, but the fact that so many who are young and female are coming forward despite the burdens and challenges facing our youth and our women is a cause for much hope, not just for NIA, but for all of Jamaica and for the international movement," he said.