PANEL REMARKS BY MINISTER WITH RESPONSIBILITY FOR INFORMATION, SENATOR, THE HON SANDREA FALCONER, AT CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FORUM—‘ENGAGING THE MEDIA TO PROMOTE TRUST AND COMPETITIVENESS IN GOVERNANCE—EVERY STAKHOLDER’S CSR’, MONA VISITORS LODGE, MONDAY MARCH 25, 2013
I am honoured to be a part of this august panel discussing a very critical issue. May I thank the Canadian High Commission for putting on this well-needed forum.
Corruption is not just a moral issue.
It is also an economic issue.
Corruption distorts, impedes and sabotages economic growth.
Corruption goes against all notions of meritocracy, which is at the heart of the market system.
The market system is based on the notion that anyone can freely and fairly compete in a system of exchange where the playing field is level.
Corruption is inherently anti-market and anti-democratic.
The market system has been proven to be the most efficient means of allocating resources and of rewarding effort.
It is that system which has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.
Corruption accelerates poverty and underdevelopment.
The media have a natural interest in campaigning against corruption because they are a part of the market system and thrive in a competitive marketplace.
Indeed, media are the watchdogs and guardians of our democratic system. That’s why they are called the Fourth Estate. Media, therefore, must be vigilant about any practice which corrodes competitiveness and democratic flourishing.
I have been pleased to see the level of attention given to issues of corruption and to a lesser extent corporate social responsibility by media globally and also by the Jamaican media. I don’t think we can be complacent, though and I want to use this forum to urge the media to be even more alert and vigorous.
For our part as a Government, we remain resolute and firmly resolved that that even the scent of corruption must not be named among us as Government and we are working hard through legislative action as well as conduct to ensure that integrity and probity are the watchwords .
As a Government our interest is the economic growth of the country and the increased welfare of our people. That is directly threatened by corruption. As I have said, corruption holds back development.
Jamaica has no time to spare in its quest for sustainable economic development. We are ensuring by our strict adherence to good governance that no form of corruption is tolerated or finds any place among us.
We will work with our international partners and solicit their continued cooperation in fighting corruption and ensuring that all business contacts between Jamaica and business interests of the international community are conducted honourably and transparently…READ MORE