At a time when citizens are expressing increasing concern about the government’s response to the rising crime wave, the Attorney General’s Chambers has renewed its commitment to combating corruption and undertaken to implement the recommendations from a United Nations (UN) agency review of the island’s steps taken in the global fight against crime and corruption.
A United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime team, led by Ms Tanja Santucii, is currently on island to undertake an on-site assessment of Saint Lucia’s performance regarding implementation of the articles of engagement with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).
They will also examine specific matters discussed at a related two-day workshop on November 7 and 8, including matters related to criminalization and law enforcement namely: Bribery of National Public Officials, Embezzlement, Misappropriation of Property by Public Official, Abuse of Functions, Illicit Enrichment, Bribery in Private Sector, Laundering in Proceeds of Crime, Obstruction of Justice, Freezing, Seizure and Confiscation.
In attendance at the latest workshop were the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF), the Office of the Director for Public Prosecutions (DPP), the Finance Intelligence Authority (FIA), the Integrity Commission, the AG’s Chambers, Ministry of External Affairs and members of Civil Society.
AG Leslie Mondesir welcomed members from the UNCAC Secretariat, UNCAC Reviewers, Permanent Secretary Julianna Alfred and staff of Chambers, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Director of the Financial Intelligence Authority, Representatives from the Ministry of External Affairs, the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force and Integrity Commission and other specially invited guests.
He recalled that “Saint Lucia acceded to the United Nations Convention against Corruption on the 25th of November 2011 and the Review Mechanism was adopted at the third session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption held in Doha, Qatar, in November 2009.”
The current review of Saint Lucia’s implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) specifically addresses Articles 15-42 of Chapter III, under the rubric “Criminalization and law enforcement” and Articles 44 – 50 of Chapter IV, under the rubric “International cooperation” for the review cycle 2010 – 2015.
The UNCAC is the only legally binding universal anti-corruption multilateral treaty, which requires the member-states to, inter-alia, criminalize corruption and adopt measures to effectively prevent it by the implementation of the likes of actions for the recovery of the proceeds of that corruption.
According to AG Mondesir, “Saint Lucia remains committed to the fight against corruption and has made significant strides as can be seen by the recent introduction of the Special Prosecutor Act, No. 19 of 2022 which came into force on 22nd August 2022.”
He told the meeting, “This piece of legislation makes provision for the appointment of a Special Prosecutor who will be responsible for receiving and investigating complaints of corruption.’
He also noted that “The Special Prosecutor is conferred with the power to institute criminal prosecutions and prosecute public officials alleged to be engaged in corrupt conduct.”
According to the Saint Lucia AG, “As a party to the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (IACAC), Saint Lucia became a member of the Follow up Mechanism for the Implementation of IACAC (MESICIC) and was assessed pursuant to the second and fifth rounds of this MESICIC process.”
He said the provisions selected for review “dealt with systems of government hiring, the procurement of goods and services and for the protection of public servants and private citizens who, in good faith, report acts of corruption (Article VI).”
“Further to this process,” AG Mondesir said, “the Cabinet endorsed an Inter-Ministerial Committee to examine the provisions of the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (IACAC).”
The Committee assessed the recommendations made to Saint Lucia by (MESICIC) and an Anti-Corruption Policy and action plans were developed and approved by the Cabinet.
According to the AG, “These Action Plans of various stakeholders detailed the responsibility of ensuring that measures were established to mitigate the risk and/or instances of corruption.”
He explained, “As part of our obligation to the FATFF recommendations, including matters related to political exposed persons (PEP) and beneficial owners, various pieces of legislation are currently under review” and “It is expected that these amendments will bolster Saint Lucia’s position in fighting corruption.”
AG Mondesir said Saint Lucia has also enacted The Public Procurement Act, The Public Finance Management Act, The Proceeds of Crime Act, The Integrity in Public Life Act and The Public Service Commission (Disciplinary Proceedings) Regulations to assist with the fight against corruption.
“The Government of Saint Lucia therefore welcomes this UNCAC review and looks forward to the recommendations which will follow,” he said.
The AG also took the opportunity to “renew the Government’s commitment to combating corruption and undertake to implement the recommendations expected to follow.”
He thanked the stakeholders for their attendance and extended “best wishes for productive sessions.”
Kenvil Atkins / Lewis December 8, 2022 At 3:08 pm
Oh beautiful St. Lucia Island in the sun
I did not leave because I hated thee
You are dear to me like a cup of cool
But the pioneer spirit would not let me be
It’s in my blood and pushes me onward
But I vouch someday to return my love
Today my soul mourns for thee seeing your
The young and old have been taken, hostage
Rule by a government of weak hearts
There is a brewing cancer governed by a nest
Of scorpions and vipers of all kinds
For a few trinkets, they come by the shipload
To your shores
Recking havoc on a then our peaceful nation
Of God-fearing people who live by the rules
Now it is too late your birthright has been stolen
Sold to the highest bidder
By the very same people you love and protect
They open your door to strange people with
Strange custom intending to dominate
Placing a choke hold around your neck force
You into submission slavery
Some came bearing gifts making us a gluttony
People rotten fruits at that poisoning this
Generation for gain and security
Now they openly bear arms against us killing
Our people at random
Our loving citizen of the sun Island will soon be no more
The killing has become a way of life a vice adopted
By devels and passing it on to our youth
For a mere trinket
While our leaders twirl their fingers looking for another
Bribe another dollar of useless infidels
Our creole heritage is soon to become a thing
Of the past
Replace it with Twanise jumbo Mombo or Chinese
Our land of peace our beautiful St. Lucia has
Become a vipers paradise
Fellow brothers and sisters beloved of St. Lucia
There is no time left for slumber
Open your eyes to the destruction around you
The degradation and dysfunction of warm people
I am not at present with you but urge you to
Harness your God-given birthright
And rise to a new beginning a new dawning
Arm your selves with integrity love and fellowship
Trod on the belly of the snakes and shout upon the
Rooftops a call to arms
Cleanse the land that gave you birth the land of
Hills and valleys Farest Isles of all the earth
I came back to see you live among you
But you plunder my resources and left me wanting
Nevertheless, I love you like my brethren’ mind and body
The die is cast now is the time to root out evil in your
Community your villages your cities and yourselves
May the glory of Jehovah whom I served shine upon
You as you fight the good fight
The age of killing must stop now and only you can
Accomplish this if not prepare yourself for a mass
Burial of a once peace-loving creole people
I now leave you to summon up your courage as
People of St. Lucia
Once a force to reckon with alas our true leaders are gone
Kenvil Atkins/ Lew
Who, but GOD will stop the advance of the deceitful enemy bearing gifts to blind the eyes of this generation who has forgotten the guide of our elders –
Belle parole moone as un verrr larceny.
De demoo non- merci pour lo ca-ca-ah e mene- ba-ou en boite maho-ah.
And, as late honorable John Compton chased the wolves from our beautiful shores- ST LUCIA IS NOT FOR SALE
Are we too far lost to be able to summon enough guts to reclaim that dauntless ST. Lucian autonomy? Have we forgotten the Aesop’s fable of – The Camel and the Arab?
C’est un courve chere pour ware leta-ah St. Lucie vine-anh. La peine en chere nous, d’lau nah zie nous
Bon dieu, ne miserscod asou St. Lucie.