Integrity Symposium A Success  

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Integrity Symposium 2023 - St. Maarten

 

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — The Integrity Chamber hosted its first Integrity Symposium at the American University of the Caribbean, under the theme: “Building Integrity to Build a Nation”. The symposium highlighted the  need for building integrity, the challenges that must be overcome, and the importance of doing so  collectively.  

The Integrity Symposium opened with an official opening address by the Prime Minister of Sint  Maarten, the honourable Silveria Jacobs. The opening address highlighted the importance of  integrity being a shared value among all aspects of St. Maarten’s society and the role that technology  can play in building trust and improving the quality of public services. Jacobs emphasized that “a  nation built on integrity is one where corruption finds no fertile ground”. 

The opening address was followed by an address by the President of the Integrity Chamber, Mrs.  H.W. (Rian) Vogels. Vogels stated that “integrity is the cornerstone of good governance and essential  in building public trust, fostering economic growth and promoting social justice.” Six threats to  integrity were highlighted: corruption, nepotism, conflicts of interest, lack of transparency, political  interference, and inadequate oversight. Key measures to address and prevent these threats were  outlined during the presentation.  

The keynote speakers, Mr. Dion Abdool of Transparency International, and Professor Trevor Munroe  of National Integrity Action, gave informative and inspiring speeches and regional perspectives. 

Mr. Abdool outlined critical components of the National Integrity System and provided recent data  on the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) in the region as it compares globally. In building a nation,  Mr. Abdool emphasized the importance of having trust between society and government and the  need to work towards our own “Caribbean Currency” of trust. 

Professor Munroe congratulated the Integrity Chamber for convening the symposium and for their  multidimensional awareness campaign to promote integrity. “Improved governance requires  empowerment of people; the next logical step is action in building integrity”, stated Munroe. Other  takeaways from Professor Munroe’s address were that corruption is a global issue that needs to be  fought and that there is a lack of awareness of actions that citizens can take to combat integrity  issues. 

Members of the Integrity Chamber, Mr. Rafael Boasman and Mr. Hans Lodder, joined the two  keynote speakers for the panel discussion. Questions from the audience ranged from how artificial  intelligence will impact integrity, to the role of financial institutions in promoting integrity for civil  society, and best practices for public and private sector. 

Closing remarks were given by the director of the Integrity Chamber, Ms. Charna Pompier, who  thanked those involved in ensuring the first Integrity Symposium was a success.  

The Integrity Symposium can be viewed online via https://www.integritychamber.sx/symposium or  via the Facebook or YouTube page of the Integrity Chamber.