First Dutch Caribbean Integrity Summit held

Some 30 participants from all six is­lands in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom and the Dutch Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations BZK dis­cussed expertise enhancement during the first “Integrity Summit Dutch Caribbean” on Curacao from October 30 to November 3.

It was agreed that a platform will be established for the ex­change of best practices and daily experiences with the aim of increasing expertise levels and promoting cooperation in the field of integrity within the Kingdom. This concerns 15 organisations from the autono­mous countries Curacao, Aruba and St. Maarten, as well as Bo­naire, St. Eustatius and Saba (so-called BES), also known as the Caribbean Netherlands.

Group photo.

Knowledge and experience will be periodically exchanged on promoting integrity within government, (semi)public sec­tor and society in general. The emphasis is on expertise en­hancement from local organ­isations involved in this matter. A vision for jointly continu­ing to work on integrity in the workplace within government and related entities in the Ca­ribbean part of the Kingdom will also be developed.

Speakers from organisations such as the Whistleblowers Authority, Red Cross, In­tegrity Bureau Amsterdam, Nyenrode Business Univer­sity, the Custodial Institutions Agency and the Civil Service & Organisation Directorate of BZK were present. Former Island Governor and member of the Committee for Finan­cial Supervision CFT Glenn Thodé. opened the summit.

“The importance of the Integrity Summit cannot be stressed enough. Finally, there is a meeting of the four countries in the Kingdom with integrity as the central focus. The residents of the islands in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom yearn for honest leaders, officials, and civil servants.

“For those working on pro­moting integrity, an infrastruc­ture to share knowledge and experiences and to support and collaborate with each other is of the utmost importance. The consolidation of forces through this first Integrity Summit gives me hope for a future with more integrity in society,” Thodé said.

The primary objective was getting to know each other and enhancing the expertise of em­ployees of the integrity bureaus of Aruba and St. Maarten, the public entity Bonaire, and the Caribbean Netherlands Na­tional Government Service RCN, integrity officers, re­searchers, counsellors and the public bodies of Saba and Statia, the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard, the Joint Court of Jus­tice, the Prosecutor’s Office, the Caribbean Netherlands Police Force KPCN, “Justitiële Inrichting Caribisch Neder­land” (Caribbean Netherlands Correctional Institution), the National Government Repre­sentative, Royal Netherlands Marechaussee plus Curaçao’s the Ministries of General Af­fairs, of Administration, Plan­ning and Service BPD and of Justice.

Expertise enhancement is considered essential because it is crucial that the Caribbean part of the Kingdom works on the task of maintaining or improving integrity within gov­ernment organizations. This mainly involves the extent to which organisations are able to prevent and address (financial) irregularities (such as fraud and corruption) and unwanted behaviour (such as abuse of power, insults, discrimination, harassment, and exclusion), both preventatively and reac­tively.

The idea for the Integrity Summit Dutch Caribbean arose from a need expressed by integrity officers in the Ca­ribbean part of the Kingdom.

The summit was organized by the Ministry of BZK and SRA-Caribbean Partners NV, a local agency specializing in integrity and compliance training and consultancy.

“The summit, held for the first time, serves as a stepping­stone towards a more struc­tured form of cooperation. The organizers describe it as a successful week that was re­ceived with great enthusiasm,” stated a release.

The Daily Herald.

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