Saturday, 31 December 2016

UN THROWS WEIGHT BEHIND NIGERIA’S QUEST TO COMBAT ILLICIT MONEY FLOW

The UN General Assembly, on Thursday, unanimously adopted Nigeria-sponsored resolution on: “Promotion of International Cooperation to Combat Illicit Financial Flows” in order to foster sustainable development.

The Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York, reports that the resolution was strongly supported at various levels by the African Group and the G-77 including China.

NAN also reports that: “The resolution reiterated its deep concern about the impact of illicit financial flows, in particular those caused by tax evasion and corruption, on the economic, social and political stability and development of societies.”

At the adoption, Akinremi Bolaji, Minister Plenipotentiary and Head, Second Committee, reiterated his earlier calls on members to pursue policy coherence and create an enabling environment to combat illicit financial flows.

Bolaji said: “It is important to remind ourselves that the attainment of sustainable development by most developing countries, especially African States, would remain a puzzle unless the UN fulfill its role as a veritable platform for facilitating cooperation among member states as well as with the UN system.

“Mr. President,  it is heart-warming for my delegation that in our common bid to combat Illicit Financial Flows, the General Assembly today adopts this resolution entitled, Promotion of International Cooperation to Combat Illicit Financial Flows in order to Foster Sustainable Development.

“The resolution aptly linked realisation of sustainable development to combating Illicit Financial Flows and calls on Member States to scale up cooperation in this aspect. It is essential for Member States to cooperate among themselves and with other stakeholders, so as to provide necessary support for national efforts in combating illicit financial flows, for the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.”

He called on international financial and monetary institutions and systems to engage their expertise and mandates to combat such flows and assist in the recovery of stolen assets. He said their activities, including those of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), should move beyond data collection to providing intelligence leads to assist in forestalling and recovering them.

“In this regards, Nigeria wishes to reiterate earlier calls upon Member States to pursue policy coherence and create enabling environment for combating Illicit Financial Flows and achieving sustainable development. More importantly, we call on the International Financial and Monetary Institutions/System to engage their expertise and mandates to combat Illicit Financial Flows and assist in the recovery of stolen assets.

“The activities of these institutions, including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) should go beyond data collection on occurrences of illicit financial flows, rather these institutions should provide intelligence lead that could assist in forestalling and recovering of such flows,” he said.

According to him, it is therefore, the understanding of my delegation that this resolution will provide the necessary political tools for financial and monetary institutions to facilitate cooperation among Member States, in the bid to combat illicit financial flows.

“It is imperative to accelerate international cooperation against illicit financial flows, which undisputedly constitute a major disabler to sustainable development, having direct negative impact on the ability of Member States to raise, retain and mobilise national resources to finance sustainable development.

“More importantly, Nigeria wishes to re-echo the targets set by Addis Ababa Action Agenda and urge Member States that have not done so, to ratify and accede to the UN Convention against Corruption.

“Nigeria also urge Member States to support the Stolen Assets Recovery Initiative; to Combat Money laundering and terrorism financing; and to ensure effective implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime,” he added. (NationalMirror)