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Chair of Transparency International to open Cayman Ethics Conference

CAYMAN ISLAND – A dynamic team of international government ministers, members of parliament from the Region; directors of anti-corruption agencies and corporate leaders will tackle the issue of corruption and discuss anti-corruption strategies at a conference to be hosted by the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI), under the theme, “Towards a Corruption Free Caribbean: Ethics, Values and Morality,” on the university campus, March 19-20.

The opening keynote speaker of this fourth Ethics Conference will be Dr. Huguette Labelle, the current chair of the Board of Transparency International, which operates in more than 100 countries in the fight against corruption.

She brings a wealth of knowledge on the topic of corruption and her presentation is expected to be one of the high points of our discourse, the Chairman of the conference organising committee, Dr Livingston Smith, said.

“Her presence and participation will go a far way in promoting the anti-corruption movement in the Caribbean, as she brings enormous experience and knowledge to the event. Annually, Transparency International rates countries in a Corruptions Perceptions Index based on how corrupt their public sectors are deemed to be. Among the other global surveys that the organisation conducts, is the Global Corruption Barometer, which is the only worldwide public survey on views and experiences on corruption,” Dr. Smith further stated.

In addition to Dr Labelle’s involvement with Transparency International, she is a member of several international bodies, including: 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; and the Executive Board of the Africa Capacity Building Foundation.

With a brilliant line up of keynotes and plenary speakers, the conference will also hear presentations from an influential Jamaican contingent.

“Public and private sector leaders from Jamaica will be highly represented at the Cayman conference, which provides a solid platform for dialogue and exchange of ideas to strengthen our fight against corruption, as individual states and a region,” noted Ms. Wanica Purkiss, General Manager of the National Building Society of Cayman (NBSC), one of the major sponsors of the two-day discourse.

Ms. Purkiss said that Jamaican Opposition Leader, and former Prime Minister, Mr. Andrew Holness, will present his ideas to achieve a corrupt free Jamaica, speaking on the topic, “The Ethical and Anti-Corruption Framework of Jamaica: My Vision for Change.”

Earl Jarrett, General Manager, Jamaica National Building Society
Earl Jarrett, General Manager, Jamaica National Building Society

And, Earl Jarrett, General Manager of the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) and Acting Board Chairman of National Building Society of Cayman, will address the topic of, “Tackling Corruption in the Private Sector: The Way Forward.”

Mr. Jarrett, who has expressed his commitment to relentlessly contribute to the fight against corruption in Jamaica, said that, “Corruption is present in all facets of life and the private and financial sectors are not exempt. We must fight this societal plague; therefore, I am optimistic that international and regional leaders are coming together at the UCCI conference to discuss ideas and strategies; and, to take a collaborative and more united approach in eradicating corruption.”

He stated his firm support for any forum which seeks to explore and share anti-corruption strategies, “However, it cannot only be dialogue, we must implement change,” he affirmed.

Other Jamaican plenary and session presenters will include Professor Trevor Munroe, Director, National Integrity Action of Jamaica; Contractor General Dirk Harrison and his predecessor, Mr. Greg Christie; as well as, other persons of note from the region.

Conference organisers anticipate that more than 600 delegates will attend the two-day event; and that, at the centre of discussion will be the impact of these ethical matters on individual persons, families and nations.

The University College of the Cayman Islands has partnered with Canada’s Carleton University’s Centre for Values and Ethics (COVE); the Department of Government of The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, Jamaica; and the National Integrity Action of Jamaica to stage the annual conference. And, in addition to the NBSC, some of the main sponsors include the RBC Royal Bank and CONCACAF, CICA, DART Enterprises, and Radio Cayman.


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