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A statement issued in Abuja by Rasheedat Okoduwa, spokesperson of the ICPC, disclosed that the panel was launched on March 2, 2020.
Okoduwa stated that the FACTI panel was established jointly by Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, the President of the United Nations General Assembly, and Mona Juul, the President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, against the background of escalating issues of tax evasion, tax avoidance, money laundering and corruption, especially in an era of digital economic activity; and the pressing need for the world to put more effort into preventing financial crimes, creating level playing fields, ending financial opacity, and mobilizing resources equitably.
She said 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 in the global financial system, which according to Panel Co-Chair, Dalia Grybauskaitė, former President of Lithuania, ‘is overdue for changes’.
“Dr. Grybauskaitė made this assertion during the recent inaugural meeting of the Panel, which was held on a virtual platform due to COVID-19 related restrictions,” she said.
Underscoring the significance of the panel’s task in facilitating such changes, she quoted the Co-Chair, Ibrahim Mayaki, former Prime Minister of Niger, as saying during the meeting that “In this time of global crisis instigated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of robust, reliable public resources becomes especially clear. I look forward to working closely with fellow panel members to make recommendations toward a less porous, more equitable financial system.”
“In addition, Grybauskaitė expressed the hope that the FACTI panel would provide some of the building blocks for a more just and equitable financial system after the COVID-19 crisis,” Okoduwa said in the statement.
The FACTI Panel consists of 17 members drawn from policymakers, academia, civil society and the private sector. The other members include:
• Ms. Benedicte Schilbred Fasmer, Member, Executive Board of Norges Bank, Norway;
• Mr. Karim Daher, Managing Partner, Hadad Baroud Daher – Tria Law Firm and
Director, Lebanese Association for Taxpayers’ Rights and Information, Lebanon;
• Mr. Thomas Stelzer, Dean and Executive Secretary, International Anti-Corruption Academy, Austria.
• 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, Board of Governors of Banco de la República (central bank of Colombia), 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, Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Suriname;
• Mr. Shahid Hafiz Kardar, Vice-Chancellor, Beaconhouse National University, former Governor, 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; and
• Mr. Yury Fedotov, former Executive Director, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Russia;