Grenada is hosting the historic 1st China-Caribbean Conference on Anti-Corruption Law Enforcement Cooperation this week.
Prime Minister and Minister for National Security, Dr the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell welcomed the historic meeting, saying it signals a combined resolve to “fight corruption and to jointly tackle the issue of cross-border corruption that could undermine good governance, good business practices and general financial services in our countries.”
Dr Mitchell expressed the hope that the conference will result in a formal framework of cooperation between China and Caribbean governments. “I trust that we have all come to St George to be part of this momentous occasion, with an unwavering determination to work collaboratively to safeguard our mutual law enforcement and anti-corruption interests,” the Prime Minister stated.
He added, “Corruption impairs social fairness and justice, it undermines the image and credibility of countries and their governments and it hinders economic development and the realisation of sustainable development. In fact, it is well known that when our own citizens think governments are not dealing with corruption aggressively, they tend to perceive that we are also involved.”
The Prime Minister further noted that corruption undermines the rule of law and marginalises people, making it even more crucial that countries have ongoing cooperation in anti-corruption efforts.
Dr Mitchell said, “We must appreciate that law enforcement and security are part of a dynamic environment. Every piece of legislation we enact, every regulation we approve, every structure we create, these will be continually challenged by the corrupt few as they find new ways to circumvent established procedures. It is critical, therefore, that as law enforcers, we always stay ahead of the game and we maintain innovation and timeliness as key watchwords. Regular meetings of this nature will help to ensure that we stay one step of the corrupt minds.”
The Grenadian leader also noted that cooperation in anti-corruption presents yet another opportunity for Grenada and China to deepen relations. He made reference to the recent introduction of a bill in the House of Representatives that addresses the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Treaty, signed between the Grenada and Chinese governments.
Representatives from China including Vice Chairman of the National Commission of Supervision, His Excellency Xu Lingyi and several Caricom member states, are attending the 2-day meeting.
During the conference, delegates will share best practices on mutual law enforcement and security concerns, explore specific cooperation instruments and initiatives to enhance law enforcement cooperation as well as establish networks for information sharing.