UNITED NATIONS, Oct 23 (APP): Pakistan told the United Nations Thursday that fighting corruption is central to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s agenda, and called for ensuring that there are no “safe havens” for corruption funds.
“The foundation of Pakistan’s ‘naya’ is laid on a vision to promote a culture of accountability and zero tolerance for corruption,” said Pakistani delegate Saad Ahmad Warraich in a speech to the General Assembly’s Sixth Committee, which deals with legal matters.
Speaking during the debate on ‘the rule of law at national and international levels: measures to prevent and combat corruption’, he said his government recognized that a “corruption-free Pakistan” was an important precursor to ensuring the rule of law, eradicating poverty, overcoming social inequality. economy and achieving inclusive and sustainable development for all.
Warraich, an adviser to the Pakistan Mission to the United Nations, said the steps being taken to achieve that goal had paid off.
In his remarks, the Pakistani delegation said corruption was a “dangerous plague” with corrosive effects on societies and economies around the world.
He underlined that corruption diverts resources from where they are most needed, thereby undermining trust in institutions and hindering the ability of developing countries to mobilize domestic finance.
The volume of wealth stolen due to corrupt practices such as bribery, tax evasion and money laundering is staggering, he noted, pointing out that much of these funds are being siphoned off to secure global havens as illegal financial flows.
Calling for a comprehensive and global integrated multidisciplinary approach to fighting corruption, the Pakistani delegation added that stolen assets, including the proceeds of corruption, bribery and other illegal profits must be fully returned to developing countries.
Also highlighting the various gaps in existing mechanisms, Warraich called on the international community to consider possible additional protocols on asset returns.
Mutual legal assistance in investigating and prosecuting violations is essential to give teeth to global efforts to fight corruption, he said, adding that “there should be no safe haven for the proceeds of corruption.”
Countries should impose criminal and financial sanctions on financial institutions that allow corruption and bribery, the Pakistani delegation stressed.
“Supporters of corruption and bribery such as bankers, accountants, lawyers and other intermediaries must be strictly regulated, monitored and held accountable,” he said, stressing the need for a fair, transparent and predictable court system for investment disputes.
The UN, he added, must set up a mechanism to coordinate and oversee the work of the various official and non-official bodies that handle illicit financial flows to ensure coherence, consistency and equality in their work.
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