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Dr. Huguette Labelle - Chair, Board of Transparency International

The fight against corruption cannot succeed unless ethical values are strongly embedded in society's institutions.

Dr. Huguette Labelle, Chair of the Board of Transparency International

Published 2nd January 2014, 2:56pm

The head of the organisation that rates governments worldwide on anti-corruption will open the UCCI March 2014 Caribbean ethics and values conference.

Dr. Huguette Labelle is the Chair of the Board of Transparency International, an organisation that works in more than 100 countries in the fight against corruption. Each year, Transparency International scores countries on a Corruptions Perceptions Index regarding how corrupt their public sectors are seen to be.

Dr. Labelle will be joined by regional and local heads of states, ministers of government, and directors of anti-corruption agencies. They will be sharing ideas on how corruption can be reduced and eliminated from all sectors of communities across the region.

Heads of states just last week confirming attendance are the Hon. Perry Christie, Prime Minister of the Bahamas, who will speak on the ethical and anti-corruption framework of the Bahamas; and Dr. the Hon. Ralph Everard Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who will reflect on the state of corruption in the Caribbean as a whole. Other speakers will include academicians, and business, church and community leaders with an interest in furthering the cause of building corruption-free societies.

Speaking about the importance of raising awareness and educating all sectors of society, Dr. Labelle said: "The fight against corruption cannot succeed unless ethical values are strongly embedded in society's institutions."

The Chair of Transparency International said that a key challenge was "to make sure that values such as integrity and ethical behaviour characterise the daily work of leaders and institutions that serve the people."

The president of UCCI, Mr. Roy Bodden, expressed his delight that someone of the calibre and international standing as Dr. Labelle will be opening the March conference.

"This is possibly the first time that we will have such an array of eminent speakers, and I urge everyone in the Cayman Islands and the region as a whole to take advantage of this opportunity to raise awareness of the challenges our societies face with regard to corruption, unethical behaviour, and malfeasance," he said.

Adding his endorsement, Dr. Livingston Smith, chair of the conference organising committee, spoke to the leadership of Transparency International in the global fight against corruption. "Transparency International is easily the most powerful organization focusing exclusively on corruption. Its mission is to ‘create change towards a world free of corruption' and it seeks to do this by bringing people together in a powerful worldwide coalition to end the devastating impact of corruption on men, women and children around the world."

Dr. Smith said that he was confident that the March 2014 conference to be opened by Dr. Labelle would do much towards advancing this objective in Caribbean societies.

Conference keynote speaker Dr. Labelle is also a member of various other boards and bodies, including the Board of the UN Global Compact, 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, the Executive Board of the Africa Capacity Building Foundation, the Global Centre for Pluralism, and the Advisory Council of the Order of Ontario. She is also Vice Chair of the Senior Advisory Board of the International Anti-Corruption Academy and provides advisory services to various national and international organizations.

Dr. Labelle served for 19 years as Deputy Minister of different Canadian Government departments and is a former Chancellor of the University of Ottawa.

For further information on Transparency International and its various global activities and surveys, go to www.transparency.org In addition to the Corruptions Perceptions Index, the organisation’s surveys include the "Global Corruption Barometer," the only worldwide public survey on views and experiences on corruption, and a "Bribe Players Barometer," rating the wealthiest nations by their firms’ propensity to bribe abroad.

Members of the public wishing to register for the March 19-21 conference are invited to go to www.UCCIconference.ky Discounted conference fees are avalable until 31 December.

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For further information, please contact Patricia Ebanks, conference co-chair, by email pbanks@ucci.edu.ky or at 623-0571.