Egypt’s Permanent Representative of the United Nations, Ahmed Gamal El-Din, stated that illicit financial flows undermine countries’ ability to protect human rights, including economic, social, and cultural rights, which threaten stability, sustainable development, and the rule of law.
His remarks came during the UN session on the negative impact of non-restitution of looted funds on human rights.
The session was jointly called upon by Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya, and was supported by the African and Arab countries, in order to highlight the difficulties that developing countries face in recovering looted funds.
The session aims to shed light on the lack of cooperation of the relevant authorities in different countries and the absence of political will to help recovering looted funds.
Gamal El-Din said that Egypt succeeded in organizing the 9th session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption in 2021. He added that the conference urged countries to prioritize efforts to recover looted funds and take measures to enhance international relations, to ensure that perpetrators of corruption crimes are held accountable.
He called on countries that provide safe havens for looted funds to return those funds unconditionally.
The session highlighted the steady increase of illicit financial flows worldwide, which exceeds the development aid provided by developed countries to developing countries.
Participants from bodies concerned with recovering funds from different countries of the world, including Egypt, discussed their experiences in recovering stolen funds and the obstacles they face, highlighting the need for the Human Rights Council to continue addressing the negative impact of looted funds flows on human rights.
The participants stressed the importance of the relevant UN organizations coordinating efforts to formulate international guidelines for the process of recovering smuggled assets to help countries quickly recover those funds and enhance international cooperation in this regard.