NEW YORK, 1 April 2020 – The High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda (FACTI Panel) met for the first time yesterday.
Launched on 2 March of this year, the FACTI Panel was established jointly by H.E. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, the President of the United Nations General Assembly, and H.E. Mona Juul, the President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council – the leaders of two of the UN Charter bodies.
The meeting, held virtually due to COVID-19 related restrictions around the world, allowed the Panel members to meet each other for the first time, and to take the initial steps in organizing their work.
Tax evasion, money laundering and corruption, as well as tax avoidance, especially in an era of digital economic activity, demonstrate that the world needs to put more effort into preventing financial crimes, creating level playing fields, ending financial opacity, and mobilizing resources equitably. The Panel is tasked with making recommendations to address gaps, impediments and vulnerabilities in international institutional and legal frameworks related to financial accountability, transparency and integrity. Its recommendations will build on the successes and ongoing work of existing mechanisms.
Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, former Prime Minister of Niger and Co-Chair of the Panel, welcomed the appointment of the co-chair, Dr. Dalia Grybauskaitė, former President of Lithuania and four new panelists:
“In this time of global crisis instigated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of robust, reliable public resources becomes especially clear,” he said. “I look forward to working closely with Dr. Grybauskaitė and our fellow Panel members to make recommendations toward a less porous, more equitable financial system.”
“The global financial system is overdue for changes, and I am pleased to join this effort to bring about positive change,” said Dr. Grybauskaitė. “I hope the FACTI Panel will provide some of the building blocks for a more just and equitable financial system that can emerge after the COVID-19 crisis.”
The FACTI Panel consists of 17 members drawn from policymakers, academia, civil society and the private sector. The appointees since the launch of the Panel include:
• Ms. Benedicte Schilbred Fasmer, Member of the Executive Board of Norges Bank, Norway;
• Mr. Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, Nigeria;
• Mr. Karim Daher, Managing Partner of Hadad Baroud Daher - Tria Law Firm and Director of the Lebanese Association for Taxpayers’ Rights and Information, Lebanon; and
• Mr. Thomas Stelzer, Dean and Executive Secretary of the International Anti-Corruption Academy, Austria.
They join the two co-chairs, and the other FACTI Panel members who were appointed before March:
• Ms. Annet Wanyana Oguttu, Professor at University of Pretoria, South Africa;
• Ms. Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, former Minister for Development, Germany;
• Ms. Irene Ovonji-Odida, Former Member AU/ECA High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa (Mbeki Panel), and former Chair of the board of ActionAid International, Uganda;
• Mr. Jose Antonio Ocampo, Professor at Columbia University, former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, former Finance Minister, Colombia;
• Ms. Magdalena Sepulveda Carmona, Former UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Chile;
• Ms. Manorma Soeknandan, Deputy Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Suriname;
• Mr. Shahid Hafiz Kardar, Vice-Chancellor, Beaconhouse National University, former Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, Pakistan;
• Ms. Susan Rose-Ackerman, Professor of Law at Yale University, USA;
• Ms. Tarisa Watanagase, former Governor, Bank of Thailand, Thailand;
• Mr. Yu Yongding, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China;
• Mr. Yury Fedotov, former Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Russia;
Panelists will meet several times over the course of the next year in global and regional consultations, convene experts and stakeholders from across all sectors, and explore new analyses of the issues and solutions. The work of the panel is supported by a secretariat based in New York. An interim report will be issued in September 2020 and a final report in February 2021.
For further information, please contact:
Kate Donovan, FACTI Panel Communications, Tel. [+17183620606] [email protected]
This page has been edited on 6 April to update the affiliation of Mr. Ocampo.