Illicit financial flows pose a risk to development

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Illicit financial flows continue to pose a risk to the development and economic stability of the world, more so for African countries, says International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor.

“Illicit financial flows, including trade mis-invoicing, pose a serious challenge to the development trajectory and economic stability of our countries, particularly in Africa as it has a debilitating effects on our efforts of domestic resource mobilisation,” said the Minister on Friday.

Pandor was speaking at the 43rd annual meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77 (G77) at the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) currently underway in New York.

The G77 is the largest intergovernmental organisation of developing countries in the United Nations and provides the means for the countries of the South to articulate and promote their collective economic interests and enhance their joint negotiating capacity on all major international economic issues within the UN system.

The Minster said the G77 being a large group within the UN system, stands well placed to make a difference to the development trajectory.

Pandor said since the first G77 meeting in 1964, equality remains a challenge.

”The world remains even more unequal than before and the pushback that we are seeing on multilateralism is affecting the development agenda most severely.”

She called on the group to back multilaterism and reform of international organisation.

“A rules-based, fair and equitable multilateral system is in the interest of developing countries. It also improves the efficient and effective functioning of the UN, in particular through adequate resources to deliver on its mandates. Key to the reform of the global governance system is securing an enhanced voice and representation for developing countries in the decision-making structures of international organisations,” she said.

In addition, she urged the G77 to guard against concerted efforts to erode the gains and interests of developing countries in the development outcomes adopted in 2015.

“The focus of our Group should be on ensuring the reversal of this disturbing trend and on renewing our collective commitment to the full implementation of these development outcomes.”

The Minister said these outcomes, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; the Paris Agreement on Climate Change; and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on development financing are key for development.

“Without their full implementation, all of these remain hollow promises and undermine the credibility of the multilateral system,” she said. -