US pledge support to whistle blower and other legislation

GINA, GUYANA, Friday, October 28, 216

The United States has pledged its support to Guyana for the completion of several pieces of legislation aimed at enhancing public security. This pledge was given at the Caribbean-United States, Security Cooperation Dialogue, which was held in Washington DC, USA.

According to Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, “The United States Government, through its Embassy here in Georgetown, has started to take follow-up action in that regard.” Harmon was speaking at a Post Cabinet press briefing held at Office of the President, today.

Minister of Public Security, Khemraj had attended the Dialogue and presented a report on Guyana’s progress with Whistle Blower, Juvenile Justice and State Assets Recovery legislation. All of these Bills which went through a series of consultations are soon to be laid in the National Assembly.

The Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation Dialogue was held following the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) meeting. The fifth CBSI was held in Trinidad and Tobago last September.

A joint action statement from the Dialogue committed to the substantial reduction of illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean, the promotion and advancement of public safety and security, the promotion of social justice and the establishment of a strong partnership for the future, Harmon said.

The Dialogue also addressed the issue of de-risking in relation to Guyana’s banking system and the socio-economic implications. r Harmon said, “We were assured that the issues raised will be addressed.”

De-risking refers to financial institutions existing banking relations considered ‘high risk. Correspondent banking, in particular and the threat of de-risking is of great concern to CARICOM countries as some international banks have ceased their operations in the region.

The issue of de-risking was also examined at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) conference in Paris, France which was attended by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams.  Harmon said that a report “on the establishment of criteria for correspondent banking” was presented at the FATF conference.

Guyana was officially removed from the FATF watch list for the combating of money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons mass destruction earlier this month, at FATF’s plenary.

 

By Tiffny Rhodius

 

 

 

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