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PM to OAS: Jamaica committed to stamping out corruption

Published:Saturday | April 14, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (right) addressing the VIII Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru, yesterday. At left is Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States Audrey Marks.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has underscored his administration's commitment to address the issue of corruption, and has welcomed the commitment of the Organisation of American States (OAS) to deal with this scourge.

Addressing the VIII Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru, yesterday, Holness said, "The imperative of addressing the prevalence of corruption in our hemisphere arises from increasing recognition that corruption poses a serious threat to the rule of law and our social order."

He added: "The attendant commitment to work collectively and collaboratively towards attaining constructive and practical solutions to the challenge of corruption have set a firm and positive foundation for further sustained economic growth and sustainable development in our hemisphere."


Hindrance to growth


According to Holness, OAS leaders must be aware that the scourge of corruption can negatively impact not only their ability to effectively discharge their respective governmental responsibilities and obligations, but also the economic and social advancement of the entire region, particularly in light of the inherent link to crime and violence.

"If we are serious about strong, inclusive and sustainable growth, if we are serious about safe, secure and prosperous societies, in which our people thrive, we will be even more concerted in our efforts to fight corruption and to strengthen democracy," said Holness.

He told the summit that Jamaica is pleased to support the Lima Commitment on Democratic Governance against Corruption, and welcomes the emphasis placed on the reduction of corruption for the attainment of sustainable development in the Americas, in line with Goal 16 of the United Nation's Agenda 2030.

"For our part, my administration continues to take bold steps to address the issue of corruption in our society, and has enacted and implemented various laws, initiatives and mechanisms geared at eliminating corruption in several areas," said Holness.

The prime minister left Peru for Brussels, Belgium, yesterday, where he will address a special session of the African Caribbean and Pacific Committee of Ambassadors.

Holness will also use the opportunity to meet with the Jamaican community in Brussels, Antwerp, and Paris before moving on to the Commonwealth Summit in London, England.

While in London, Holness will have a full agenda, including a meeting with his British counterpart, Theresa May, before being received by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.