Published in 25 February 2021 19:28
PM urged heaven countries to return all stolen assets
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Prime Minister Imran Khan has called on “heaven” countries to immediately and unconditionally return all foreign assets that prove stolen or whose “legitimacy” cannot be explained.
He addressed the virtual launch event of the High-Level Panel Final Report on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for achieving the 2030 Development Agenda.
Imran Khan said the United Nations must initiate various steps, including negotiations on new international tax cooperation and anti-money laundering legal instruments.
He called for the establishment of a UN Coordination, Adjudication and Mediation mechanism on illicit financial flows. He said Pakistan would work actively with all like-minded countries to achieve this important goal.
The Prime Minister endorsed the Panel’s proposal, which includes applying the international “value” of honesty and integrity to all financial transactions, strengthening the policy framework and reforming the institutions concerned with dealing with these illegal financial flows.
He said national and cross-border financial transactions must be regulated under a “values-based” system, which includes accountability, transparency, legitimacy, fairness, inclusion and equality. He said global financial governance must be improved and policies on illicit flows should be implemented in a coordinated and coherent manner by national and international institutions and bodies. He said international agencies dealing with taxation, corruption and illicit financing should not be used as instruments of pressure and coercion against developing countries.
Imran Khan said the shocking size of illicit financial flows could have a transformational impact on developing countries’ development prospects if they were returned.
He said recovering stolen assets would enable developing countries to eradicate poverty, reduce inequality, build back better after the COVID crisis, tackle climate change and strengthen human rights.
The prime minister said seven trillion dollars in stolen assets were parked in financial “paradise” countries. He said the flight of these enormous resources from developing countries was the main cause of their underdevelopment, poverty, inequality and politics.