Islamabad: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has called for immediate and robust national and international action to curb illicit financial flows from the developing world to financial safe haven destinations.
He was addressing the 7th International Seminar of the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission on “Combating Corruption – A Pre-Requisite for the full realization of All Human Rights and Sustainable Development” in Islamabad on Thursday.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said fighting corruption is essential to achieve the sustainable development goals.
The Foreign Minister urged the OIC countries to actively explore innovative ideas and initiatives to strengthen the existing international framework to prevent corruption and to end impunity.
He proposed the establishment of a protocol and implementation mechanism for mutual legal assistance within the OIC on issues of corruption and stolen assets.
He stressed for the development of a coherent, transparent and inclusive mechanism under the UN auspices for strengthening the international legal framework on monitoring illicit financial flows and return of stolen assets. He also called for establishment of a global beneficial ownership registry besides reviewing and revising unequal investment treaties procured through corruption.
The Foreign Minister said Prime Minister Imran Khan whilst deriving guidance from Islamic teachings, has given a vision of corruption free Pakistan. He said Pakistan has taken measures to build and strengthen robust systems for accountability, transparency and integrity. We are trying to pursue a proactive three-pronged approach to combating corruption, including awareness raising, prevention, and enforcement. He said we have supplemented existing legislation to induce transparency and openness in the public sector including through facilitating citizens’ right to information.
He pointed out that Pakistan’s Citizen Portal app has received international recognition for an effective use of technology for enhancing public delivery. Due to our sustained efforts, visible positive socio-economic changes are taking place in the country.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, in her video message on the occasion, stressed that combating corruption contributes to the full realization of human rights and is also vital to recovering from COVID-19 pandemic.
She said the UN has produced complete guidance for states and others to prevent corruption in the manufacturing, allocation and distribution of anti-Covid vaccines.
She said the need for a comprehensive action to stem corruption was also emphasized earlier this year when the UN General Assembly held its first even session on corruption.
The OIC’s Assistant Secretary General urged the OIC member countries to devise their national anti-corruption plans. He said it is important to reinforce the capacity of human rights institutions, media and civil society to play an active role in anti-corruption efforts.
The OIC’s Assistant Secretary General said the number of OIC countries including Pakistan have made fighting corruption as their top priority and also took corresponding actions such as establishment of relevant agencies to combat this menace in an apolitical and independent manner.
Chairperson of OIC Human Rights Commission Haci Ali in his remarks commended Prime Minister Imran Khan’s stance regarding countering illicit financial flows from the developing countries.
He emphasized for strengthening institutional capacities and integrating the role of technology to combat corruption and promote transparency and accountability.