Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen has lamented the ease with which persons often turn a blind eye to reports of corruption when the evidence is in plain sight. He was delivering the Keynote address on Sunday, December 9 at the National Integrity Action commissioning of Integrity Champions at the Glenmuir High School in May Pen.
Sir Patrick observed that “We often allow the guilty in their selfishness to deny the rest of us what is due to use and become both victims of corruption and contributors to its acceptance and growth.”
Commending the National Integrity Action for its commitment to building meaningful engagement with young people in the fight against corruption, Sir Patrick said that raising awareness of good values and attitudes in young people would encourage them to ‘Do the right thing even when no one is looking.’
The Governor-General commented on the similarities with the NIA and the I Believe Initiative which were both formed in 2011 and have an emphasis on youth. He encouraged the new Integrity Champions to be true to themselves and make a difference in their communities, workplaces and the nation.
Sir Patrick said it was not enough that Jamaica had moved from 86 to 68th of 175 countries ranked on the Transparency International Corruption Index. There was still much to be accomplished to stamp out corruption in all sectors of society. He insisted that “Corruption and lack of integrity are incompatible with sustainable growth and development.”
The training of some 850 Integrity Champions island-wide is a joint initiative of the NIA and the Council of Voluntary Social Services. The Programme began in October 2016 and ends in March 2019.