Africa is losing between US$50 billion and US$150 billion annually due to the scourge of Illicit Financial Flows (IFF), the United Nations (UN) has been informed.
Zambia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), Lazarous Kapambwe has observed that the scourge of illicit financial flows has remained the biggest cause of economic bleeding in Africa and called for the need to strengthen global mechanisms to improve transparency and accountability of Multinational Corporations (MNCs) to declare profits and costs associated with production among nations.
Mr Kapambwe said Illicit Financial Flows often undermined sustainable development and economic growth as well as human rights among many nations in Africa and across the globe.
He told UN Member States that it was unrealistic for the international community to expect progress in harnessing needed resources to finance sustainable development when about US$150 billion are being lost through illicit financial flows.
The Ambassador said Zambia is alert to the fact that developing policy mechanisms meant to stop the bleeding of resources among nations was critical in order to achieve sustainable development.
Mr Kapambwe said this during a High Level Meeting on International Cooperation to Combat Illicit Financial Flows and Strengthening Good Practices on Asset Return to foster sustainable development at the United Nations.
He stated that Illicit Financial Flows was a global phenomenon that required global cooperation, action and political will if the scourge was to be combated.
Mr Kapambwe said it was the recommendation of Zambia in line with other African Countries that the existing UN Committee of Experts in Tax Matters should be upgraded to a universal intergovernmental body under the auspices of the United Nations with the mandate to deal with all aspects of illicit financial flows.
And President of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés said Illicit financial flows are corrosive for the acting capabilities of the Member States with an impact on the lives of millions of people across the globe.
Mrs Espinosa Garcés said the loss of resources through illicit financial flows was taking away money meant for investment in health, infrastructure, education and housing among nations which was affecting the wellbeing of the people.
This is contained in a statement Issued Wallen Simwaka First Secretary (Press) Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zambia to the United Nations.