Pakistan has urged the international community to work together to prevent criminals from making and distributing fake coronavirus vaccines and other counterfeit medical products.
“In the context of Covid-19, there is a need for effective action against falsified medical products. Such as fake coronavirus vaccines and to strengthen international cooperation in this regard,” said Munir Akram. He is Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations.
Moreover, in a statement at the high-level section of the 14th Crime Congress in New York on Saturday evening. The Pakistani envoy warned that the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed various vulnerabilities that criminals can exploit.
“Like all other aspects of our daily lives, the impact of Covid-19 on transnational organized crime has been significant,” he said.
In addition, he said, “There is a compelling case for enhanced international action to combat and dismantle networks and platforms. That perpetrate these crimes and undermine progress towards Agenda 2030”.
The 2030 Agenda represents the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in July 2017 as “Plans for a better and more sustainable future for all”.
Furthermore, “There can be no sustainable development without justice, the rule of law and prevention and control of crime,” Ambassador Akram said.
He said the program of the 14th Crime Congress – “Advancing crime prevention, criminal justice and the rule of law. Towards the achievement of Agenda 2030” – was timely, precise and essential to achieving all of the SDGs.
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Thus, the Pakistani envoy identified key issues that Congress needed to focus on and said. Its first priority should be “the bleeding of the resources of developing countries through illicit financial flows”.
“It is nothing short of criminal to allow such flows to continue during this crisis. When developing countries are already struggling to overcome the challenges posed by shrinking fiscal space to fight the pandemic and achieve the SDGs,” he added.
Moreover, Ambassador Akram urged Congress to consider key recommendations to follow up on the latest report by the International Group on Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity (FACTI).
The group’s estimates suggest that $ 7 trillion is held in secret jurisdictions and asylum states, representing nearly 10% of global GDP. Illegal financial flows cost developing countries US $ 500 to 650 billion per year. Criminal unions send in an estimated $ 1.6 trillion each year. And roughly $ 1.5 to $ 2 trillion a year goes by hand as bribes.
Hence, to combat this massive corruption, the panel proposed structural reforms in the global financial system.
Ambassador Akram also stressed the need to tackle environmental crimes and the increasing illegal wildlife trade. “Which can lead to other zoonotic diseases (such as Covid-19)” if left unchecked.
Hence, The Pakistani envoy called for changes to labor and migration laws to end human trafficking. “Opening up additional avenues for legal migration is one way to reduce the demand for smuggling services. To meet migration-related SDGs,” he added.