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High-level meeting on "International Cooperation to Combat Illicit Financial Flows and Streghten Good Practices on Asset Return"

UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK 16 MAY 2019

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ICRICT commissioner Irene Ovojni-Odija will participate to a high-level meeting organized by the United Nations General Assembly to take stock of progress made and ways to address remaining challenges to reduce IFFs and promote best practices in asset recovery and repatriation, as an important means to support the timely implementation of the 2030 Agenda, in cooperation with all relevant stakeholders. The main objectives of the meeting are to:

  • facilitate ongoing exchange of experiences with the implementation of existing multilateral, regional and national initiatives in this regard, as well as views on how best to achieve further progress to address remaining challenges

  • exp lor e and highlight the focused efforts, including through improved coordination, that the United Nations Development System, the international financial institutions, regional organizations and other stakeholders can engage to promote global action to strengthen financial transparency and best practices,

  • ensure comprehensive participation by all relevant countries, in existing and future initiatives, and to enhance technical and capacity-building support to developing countries in these areas.

  • develop solid and concrete proposals and recommendations for future action.

The high-level meeting, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 to 6 p.m., consists of an opening segment, two interactive panel discussions, a plenary segment for general discussion, and a closing segment.

The two interactive panels will address the following issues:

  • Taking stock on achievements of contemporary efforts to combat IFF and moving on: The significantly negative impacts of IFFs on development outcomes have been known for some time, if only by order of magnitudes and general trends. The panel, representing a mix of academic, country and multilateral expertise and experiences with the design and promotion of existing initiatives to reduce IFFs and implement asset recovery and repatriation, will generate discussion on lessons learnt and core challenges yet to address. Taking stock on achievements of contemporary efforts to combat illicit financial flows

  • A global architecture to combat IFFs and strengthen recovery and return of illicit assets: The United Nations’ role in facilitating multilateral cooperation to combat IFFs is an important stepping stone to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. This panel is expected to generate discussion on how best the United Nations System, in cooperation with all relevant stakeholders, can accelerate efforts to ensure an inclusive and effective global architecture to stem IFFs effectively and thereby help to meet commitments to the 2030 Agenda.

Key Questions

Participants may wish to consider the following questions to guide their interactions in the panels:

  • What are the major gaps and challenges facing effective global action on stemming increasing IFFs and on promoting timely and effective recovery and repatriation of stolen assets?

  • What are the most important components of IFFs? How can statistical expertise capture the magnitude and impact of IFFs, as well as governmental efforts to prevent and counter them? How can data analysis and collection on IFFs help improve developmental outcomes, at national, regional and international levels?

  • What do you consider the most appropriate/efficient measure to prevent and combat IFF and strengthen recovery and return of stolen assets? How have countries worked together to return confiscated stolen assets in an effective way?

  • How does the rise of digital services affect the use of financial secrecy to facilitate IFFs as well as the ability of governments to monitor IFFs and enforce adequate administrative and legal action?

  • How can we promote more effective global implementation of existing instruments, like the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and address the need of new instruments, including the promotion of financial transparency.

  • How can we harness the richness and multiplicity of current national, regional and multilateral initiatives to combat IFFs by enhancing the voice and participation of developing countries?

Read the concept note here