Intensify international fight against tax evasion, money laundering: Guterres

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United Nations : UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for intensifying the war on illegal financial transfers, money laundering and tax evasion as one of the ways to ensure countries had adequate funds for development.


The world needs "a surge in investment" in the Sustainable Development Goals, Guterres said on Thursday unveiling his plans for the launch during the high-level meeting of the General Assembly next week of a strategy to mobilise financing for development.

"Simultaneously, I appeal to the international community to take much more effective steps to fight illicit flows of capital, money laundering and tax evasion, which continue to siphon away much-needed funds for development from the developing world," he said at a news conference.

"The UN, for its part, will continue to support developing countries in creating conditions for mobilizing domestic resources, including through tax reform and other good governance measures," he added.

Surveying the global scene, Guterres said: "Multilateralism is under attack from many different directions precisely when we need it most.

"I will use my meetings and other opportunities next week to press for renewed commitment to a rules-based global order and to the UN."

When asked if he thought US President Donald Trump was a threat to multilateralism, Guterres said: "I don't like to personalise things."

He said there was a general erosion of trust -- in political institutions, international organisations and among nations -- for different reasons and "multilateralism has been in the fire".

Of his three initiatives at the high-level session, another is the "Action for Peacekeeping".

"Our aim is to build on the peacekeeping successes of the past and to help our missions succeed in today's protracted and volatile contexts," he said.

Ahead of the meeting, he created a Declaration of Shared Commitment, which "represents a clear and urgent agenda for peacekeeping, and all stakeholders have made very specific commitments".

It has been signed by 128 countries, including India.

Outlining the dire problems in peacekeeping, Guterres said: "Peacekeepers are facing increasing threats while seeking to implement frequently large and complex mandates. Peacekeeping fatalities are at the highest level in a generation. Equipment is often inadequate, and political processes remain fragile or absent in several of the situations."

He is also launching a new strategy called "Youth2030" as well as a "Generation Unlimited" initiative.

These aim at "first, doing more to respond to the aspirations of young people, in particular quality education and decent jobs, and and second, giving them a voice in decision-making at all levels", he said.

(Arul Louis can be reached at arul.l@ians.in and followed on Twitter at @arulouis)

Published : Friday, September 21, 2018 09:30 [IST]
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