*SEEKS GLOBAL ACTION ON REPATRIATION OF ILLICIT FUNDS & CALLS FOR GLOBAL FUND ON EDUCATION
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called on global leaders, experts and the international community to pay attention to the plight of the poor across the world arguing that the promotion of social inclusion is central to issues of development.
Speaking at the ongoing 3rd United Nations conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, the Vice President recalled that during the last global financial crisis, nations and governments worked out a bail out that took are of the situation, and then wondered that ‘’if we can bail out the rich, why not bail out the poor who have neither voice nor representation.”
The Vice President threw a strong challenge to the global leaders gathered at the conference at the Ethiopian capital from around the world including the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon. According to him, “I challenge the global community to develop and implement unconventional social safety nets to address the scourge of poverty, hunger, disease and misery.”
He announced that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is “committed to set appropriate spending targets on social services to address poverty, hunger, inequality and unemployment particularly among the youths.”
The Vice President also addressed the menace of terrorism and insurgency at the conference and how they affect development. He asked the international community to develop a viable mechanism to deal with the scourge of terrorism as it addresses all aspects of human security for a truly sustainable development.
According to him, the phenomenon of global terrorism constitutes a potent threat to peace, stability and economic development of countries worldwide. The threat, he emphasized, calls for adequate funding, partnership and collaboration of the global community to combat terrorism, extremism and insurgency.
“We must take parallel action to intensify efforts towards blocking all sources of funding for terrorist activities,” he added.
Besides, in furtherance of the anti-corruption policy of the Buhari presidency, Prof. Osinbajo also charged the international community to develop appropriate mechanism to dismantle safe havens and ensure repatriation of stolen funds and assets to the countries of origin as mandated in the United Nations Conventions Against Corruption and Transnational Organized Crime.
Also in his address delivered today during the plenary session of the International Conference on Financing for Development holding from July 13-16, 2015, the Vice President identified corruption as a major impediment to development, and underscored the need for the global community to adopt concerted efforts against corruption.
While emphasizing the imperative for the international community to help Africa stop and track illicit financial flows, he called for support to Africa in repatriating such stolen funds.
He said “this conference must come up with a mechanism for dismantling safe havens and the return of stolen funds and assets to the countries of origin as mandated in the United Nations Conventions Against Corruption and Transnational Organised Crime.”
Continuing, he disclosed that Nigeria welcomes the report of the African Union High-level panel on illicit financial flow from Africa and called on the international community to assist Africa “stop, track and repatriate illicit funds.”
On the role of education and the exchange of knowledge to support dissemination of technologies for development, the Vice President called for the establishment of a Global Fund for Educational Development, GFED, on the same scale as the UN Global Fund to Fight AIDS and other major diseases.
Such a fund which he said should support universal free and quality primary education especially in developing countries, will according to him “make a difference in our world in the next fifteen years. It should replicate the successes registered by the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.”
Underscoring the importance of expediting action on access to and exchange of knowledge and technology for nurturing a productive population and for developmental purpose, Prof. Osinbajo called on the conference to consider the establishment of a ‘Global Fund for Educational Development’. He believed such a fund should replicate the successes recorded under similar initiatives such as the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Earlier, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon while delivering his opening address to delegates said the adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda would be a critical step towards sustainable development and the beginning of a new era of cooperation and global partnership. He noted that the Action Agenda as an ambitious financing framework has the capacity to put the world on the right path to implement the post-2015 development agenda and the sustainable development goals.
Delegates at the 4-day International Conference include high level political representatives of Heads of States and Governments, international business executives, international donor agencies, multilateral organisations and non-governmental organizations. They are brainstorming on issues related to mobilizing financial resources for Africa’s development. A conference outcome will provide input for the post-2015 development agenda of the UN.
Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President
(Media and Publicity)