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Pakistan

PM Imran calls on UN to stop 'illicit flow of money from poor to richer capitals'

  • Says this is crushing people in the developing world through inflation and poverty
Updated 05 Oct, 2021

Prime Minister Imran Khan called on the United Nations to stop the illicit flow of money from poor countries to tax-haven destinations, arguing that this has been causing poverty to increase in developing nations.

He made these remarks on Tuesday while virtually delivering keynote remarks at the 15th UN Conference on Trade Development World Leaders Summit Dialogue III. The dialogue was titled, 'Building a More Prosperous Development Path: Matching the Scale of the Movement'.

Khan quoted the UN Security General’s Panel FACTI report to state that stolen assets valued at around $7 trillion are parked in largely offshore tax-havens.

“Annually, $1 trillion leave the developing countries towards richer nations. And this plunder is taking place because of the corrupt ruling elite of the developing world,” said Khan, a statement that comes barely days after the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) on Sunday "unveiled" its Pandora Papers, naming several Pakistanis as among those with alleged links to offshore companies.

Pandora Papers inquiry should start with me: PTI's Faisal Vawda

Khan said the illicit flow of money is a huge crisis, which would only get worse in the coming years. The only way it can stop is if the recommendations made by FACTI Panel are implemented in its letter and spirit, added the cricketer-turned-politician.

Khan criticised richer states, saying that despite having the power to stop this "massive injustice", they are playing no role in preventing it.

“What it is doing is crushing the people in the developing world … when this money leaves the poor countries, it devalues their currency, which leads to inflation, causing poverty.”

He explained that the domino effect of the problem will eventually get to richer countries as well.

“The rising graph of inflation is increasing economic migration. People are dying to get to richer countries. If this inequality continues, the richer countries will have to build walls to keep out migrants.”

Kamyab Pakistan Programme launch: PM says govt taking measures to curb inflation

Debt relief

Meanwhile, Khan said he was the one who had initiated a campaign for debt relief for poorer nations who have been disproportionately affected by repeated lockdowns imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He recommended that debt relief for virus-hit developing states should continue until the pandemic is over.

Vaccine distribution

Khan said that the richer countries were vaccinating their people 20 times faster than the poor countries. He called on the chair to make sure that the vaccine has a more equitable distribution.

The premier also highlighted the divide between countries with respect to the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Climate finance

Meanwhile, Khan also stressed the need for mobilisation and contribution by richer states to climate finance in view of the vulnerability and existential challenges faced by Small Island Groups and other nations, including Pakistan.

“The Small Island nations are more prone to climate change because of the rising sea levels. This also includes countries like Pakistan, who depend on water from glaciers for our survival."

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