UN forms panel to help battle tax evasion, money laundering

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A High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda (FACTI Panel) consisting of 15 members drawn from policymakers, academia, civil society and the private sector has been jointly created by the president of the UN General Assembly and president of the UN Economic and Social Council. Ibrahim Mayaki, co-chair of the panel and former prime minister of Niger said illicit finance is a global menace which requires global cooperation in order to achieve effective solutions because the stolen money from public coffers would have been better used to end poverty, educating every child, and building infrastructure that will create jobs and some nations’ dependence on fossil fuels. He added that the approach of every government in tackling financial corruption is archaic compared to the sophisticated and innovative ways being used these days.

A press statement said the panel will explore what further action is needed by governments and financial institutions in areas of financial and beneficial ownership transparency, tax matters, bribery and corruption, confiscation and disposal of the proceeds of crime, money laundering and the recovery and return of stolen assets. In particular, the statement underscored mobilizing financial resources is critical to achieving the 2030 Agenda of the UN, which consists of 17 sustainable development goals for the world, and stressed that insufficient financial integrity is hindering governments from collecting their fair share of taxes. The panelists will meet in regional consultations, convene experts and stakeholders from across all sectors and explore new analyses of the issues and solutions an interim report will be issued in July 2020 and a final report in February 2021 by the panel.