>POND ISLAND – Sint Maarten is governed by the rule of law. Corruption is found in all countries of the world, in public and private sectors. Sunday, December 9 marks International Anti-Corruption Day.
Minister of Justice Cornelius de Weever said on Sunday that the Government of Sint Maarten and its institutions of democracy will not allow corruption to undermine its institutions or contribute to government instability.
“Our country is currently in the rebuilding phase. Corruption can threaten the economy of a country with respect to discouraging investment and trade.
“Government must prevent any inhibiting of prosperity for the workers and people of Sint Maarten. Looking back at the devastation caused by the hurricanes of September 2017, the country’s institutional infrastructure was weakened to a certain degree, however, steps were taken to seek assistance and that would result in a steady recovery to a post-Irma situation.
“We work diligently to strengthen our systems of governance in order to ensure that weak institutions and injustice does not prevail; and that safety and security is further enhance to prevent insecurity,” Minister of Justice Cornelius de Weever said on Sunday.
According to the United Nations (UN), every year $1 trillion is paid in bribes while an estimated $2.6 trillion are stolen annually through corruption – a sum equivalent to more than five per cent of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“In developing countries, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), funds lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times the amount of official development assistance.
“Corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. No country, region or community is immune.
“This year UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) and UNDP have developed a joint global campaign, focusing on how corruption affects education, health, justice, democracy, prosperity and development.
“The 2017 joint international campaign focuses on corruption as one of the biggest impediments to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
“The Government of Sint Maarten will always adhere to the rule of law and the principles of good governance. At the same time, where there are weaknesses in the system of governance, those will be strengthened in order to root out any corruption or the semblance of it
“Equal and fair justice is also a crucial element for a state that is based on the rule of law. On the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day, we are united against corruption,” Minister of Justice Cornelius de Weever concludes.