Stolen money from developing nations must be returned: Pakistan reminds UN

Aamir Khan, deputy permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN has called on the international community to ensure that illicit transfers of money from developing nations are stopped

Pakistan has after the Prime Minister’s speech in the 75th UNGA once again called for the creation of a ‘robust’ mechanism to combat stolen money from developing nations illicitly flowing to ‘haven’ nations, reported the ‘Daily Times’ today.

“These flows stifle economic growth in the developing countries and condemn their poor population to a life of inequality and indignity,” Aamir Khan, deputy permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN, told the General Assembly’s Second Committee. The committee deals with economic and financial matters.

“Shocking” was how Aamir Khan described the findings of the Panel on Financial Accountability, Transparency, and Integrity (FACTI) that billions of dollars annually were illegally transferred out of developing nations.

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According to the report, one trillion dollars is taken out each year by criminals; 20 to 40 billion dollars is in the form of bribes received by the corrupt; seven trillion dollars in stolen assets is parked in “haven” countries, and 5 to 6 hundred billion dollars is lost each year in tax avoidance by multinational companies.

The report also said, “This drain on resources does more than financial damage. It erodes trust in both social contracts as well as international governance systems, enhances inequalities within and between nations and also undermines their ability to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights,” continuing that, “Illicit transactions are found everywhere, but they have a much heavier impact on developing countries. They undermine public service delivery, productive investment, public trust, the integrity of institutions, and the rule of law, within and across borders. The impacts are greater
on women and girls.”

The bleeding of poor countries must stop, stolen money returned

“This bleeding of the poorer countries must stop,” Aamir Khan said.

Destination countries of the illicit financial flows from developing countries, he said must punish the enablers and eliminate “safe haven” for such money.

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“A fair and equitable tax regime with minimum corporate tax is essential for combating profit shifting by multinational corporations and tax evasion and avoidance,” the Pakistani delegate said, adding that revenues from digital transactions should be taxed where the revenues are generated, not elsewhere.

Unequal investment treaties should be discarded or revised and a fair system set up for adjudication of investment disputes, he said. “The measures implemented by governments in the context of COVID-19 should be immune from any claims against them by companies and corporations,” Aamir Khans said, adding that bodies monitoring illicit financial flows should not be used for the financial or political coercion of developing countries, but to help mitigate transferrence of stolen money.

“A UN mechanism needs to be established to oversee and coordinate the work of the various official and private bodies which deal with illicit financial flows,” the Pakistani delegate added.

GVS News Desk 

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