| 1 March 2024, Friday |

OIC, UN leaders call for joint efforts to fight corruption

United Nations and Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) representatives, called on Thursday for joint efforts, to fight corruption for sustainable development in the world.

Speaking at the 7th international seminar on corruption and human rights, the leaders stressed practical steps for combating corruption, especially illicit financial flows as well as promotion and protection of all human rights.

“The United Nations High-Level Panel on Financial Accountability, Transparency, and Integrity (FACTI) has calculated that a staggering 7 trillion dollars in stolen assets are parked in the financial ‘safe havens’ destinations,” Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said while addressing the opening session of the event.

He urged the developed countries to return the recovered assets without any condition to the states of origin, adding: “Immediate and robust national and international action is needed to stop the bleeding of developing countries.”

The event is jointly organized by the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of OIC, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry, UN Human Rights Asia, UN Office on Drugs & Crime, and UN Development.

Over 200 international and national stakeholders, including government officials, OIC member and observer states, IPHRC commissioners, and representatives of the OIC Secretariat, UN, academia, and civil society are participating in the two-day seminar which will end on Friday.

In her recorded video statement, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said that approximately $1 trillion in bribes are paid worldwide every year.

“Certainly, the problem and its consequences are immense, (as) corruption leads to economic inefficiency and distortion.”

She pointed out that the cost of bribes and kickbacks inflates prices and decreases the quality of services and goods, which severely harms development.

IPHRC chairperson Haci Ali Acikgul thanked the Pakistani government and the UN agencies for supporting the efforts to combat corruption across the world.

“We are happy that @GovtofPakistan & @UN agencies are supporting this seminar on combating corruption, which only shows the importance of addressing the social evil that is gravely affecting human rights of all segments of society,” UNDP tweeted, as quoting Acikgul from his speech at the seminar.