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President Ashe Meets with H.E Mr. Thabo Mbeki, Former President of South Africa and Chairperson of the African Union (AU) High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows (IFF) from Africa

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson

United Nations, 6 February 2014

President Ashe with H.E Mr. Thabo MbekiThe President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. John W. Ashe, met today with H.E. Mr. Thabo Mbeki, Former President of South Africa and current Chairperson of the African Union High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa.

Former President Mbeki expressed his concern that illicit financial flows constitute a major development challenge for Africa, explaining that African countries lose billions of funds annually through IFF. He noted that the illicit flow of funds from Africa has a decidedly deleterious effect on the continent's efforts to progress in the areas of economic growth, structural transformation, socioeconomic development, and poverty reduction. Mr. Mbeki indicated that, as the Panel seeks to address and make recommendations on how best to circumvent IFF’s broad-based corruption scheme, he hopes that the UN would also see fit to discuss this issue, given its implications for development.

President Ashe outlined ongoing intergovernmental processes in which this issue could be flagged and discussed and he highlighted the forthcoming GA mandated thematic debate on the Promotion of Investment in Africa as a possible platform to mobilize support for the work of the High Level Panel.

President of the General Assembly John W. Ashe (left ) with H.E Mr. Thabo Mbeki, Former President of South Africa and Chairperson of the African Union (AU) High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows (IFF) from Africa - Photo/Bill Bly