Developing countries in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean, all members of the South-South Cooperation were encouraged to battle the scourge of illicit financial flows as a way to fight poverty and accelerate growth.
The message was delivered by the Nigerian government on Sunday in Abuja by Director-General, Nigeria’s Directorate of Technical Aid Corps, Pius Osunyinkami.
Osunyinkami, was quoted as making the call at the second UN High-level Conference on South-South Cooperation in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
He also called for urgent measures to tackle illicit financial flows among the member countries.
The DG, who led the Nigerian delegation, also presented a charge from President Muhammadu Buhari to the Cooperation consisting of developing countries in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean.
Osunyinkami said, “Illicit financial flows distort the growth and development of countries, drain foreign reserves, undermine genuine investment and eliminate resources that would have been used for poverty alleviation.
“Ending the scourge of illicit financial flows was one of the most cost-effective strategies for facilitating the timely implementation of the 2030 Agenda and other development priorities of the affected countries.
“I, therefore, call on all member states and corporate entities participating in this conference to commit to scaling up international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows and strengthen good practices on assets return,” he said.
He stressed the need for support for the South-South and other similar cooperation.
Osunyinkami stated that Nigeria had been providing volunteer assistance to various countries in need of relevant expertise, a gesture which has challenged the view that Africa was only at the receiving end.
According to the Director General, this scheme and other such schemes in Africa have challenged the commonly held perception that Africa is only a recipient of aid.
He said it was gratifying that Nigeria’s volunteer service had over the years made positive contributions to the socio-economic development of many African, the Caribbean and The Pacific Countries.
“Since the deployment of the first batch of volunteers in 1987, the scheme has sent tens of thousands of volunteers to over 36 countries.
“This is to bridge the human resource gap in the areas of education, judicial services, health care delivery, agriculture, engineering, and public service,” he said.
Osunyinkami, however, emphasised that South-South Cooperation should continue to be guided by the principles of respect for national sovereignty, equality and mutual benefit, and non- interference in the domestic affairs of countries.
He also recommended that all international cooperation should respond to needs and support the development priorities of developing countries.