KSA warns UN of threat to global finances from illegal money movements

Bandar Al-Nahdi stressed the need to prepare and finance development projects in accordance with national priorities. (AFP)
Updated 19 May 2019

KSA warns UN of threat to global finances from illegal money movements

  • ‘Illicit financial flows constantly increasing beyond detection’

NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia has warned that illegal international movements of money posed a major global threat to the financial stability of countries and their sustainable development plans.
Speaking on behalf of the Kingdom at a high-level UN meeting, Bandar Al-Nahdi said urgent action was needed to combat what had become a growing problem.
Al-Nahdi, first secretary at the permanent mission of Saudi Arabia to the UN in New York and chairman of the finance and economic committee, told delegates that illicit financial flows were constantly increasing beyond detection.
He said this was distorting macroeconomic stability, creating severe complications for developing countries and denying them of the resources needed to advance their economic, social and cultural rights.
The official added that developing countries, and nations with economies in transition, should repatriate any assets of illicit origin under the terms of the UN Convention against Corruption, a legally binding international anti-corruption treaty.
In addition, Al-Nahdi stressed the need to prepare and finance development projects in accordance with national priorities, noting that illegal financial flows played a role in reducing resources to fund sustainable development and jeopardized economic, social and political stability, especially in developing states.
Tackling the issue without mechanisms being in place to measure the level of clandestine activities was a major challenge, the Saudi representative told the meeting, and he called for increased coordination and cooperation between states and their judicial authorities to force the return of funds from illicit sources to their country of origin.
Al-Nahdi added that the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development stressed the importance of significantly reducing illicit flows of funds and weapons by that year. The Addis Ababa Action Agenda plan, adopted at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, considered that measures to curb illegal financial flows would be an integral part of achieving sustainable development.
In this regard he noted the importance of transparency among states and the continued efforts of various UN bodies.


Saudi airports welcome back passengers after two-month hiatus

Updated 32 min 12 sec ago

Saudi airports welcome back passengers after two-month hiatus

  • Social distancing and face masks required in aircraft
  • Two local flights to be added daily to restore capacity 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is welcoming the return of aircraft and passengers amid strict precautionary measures to counter the spread of coronavirus.
The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) on Sunday opened 11 of the Kingdom’s 28 airports in a step toward restoring normality to everyday activities.
All flights and means of travel between Saudi cities ground to a halt on March 21.
“The progressive and gradual reopening aims at controlling the crowd inside airports because we want to achieve the highest health efficiency,” GACA spokesman Ibrahim bin Abdullah Alrwosa told Arab News.
He said that two local flights would be added daily until all routes returned to their normal capacity, during which time GACA would increase the capacity of aircrafts as decided by relevant committees. 
GACA has issued a travel guide for passengers, detailing what steps have been taken by authorities to ensure public health and safety and what obligations are on passengers. 
A decision about the return of international flights was up to authorities, he said. 


“I call on all travelers, both Saudis and residents, to read this guide and to look at the information and details in it because the travel decision depends on it,” the spokesman added.
Passengers found to violate any of the terms and conditions will not be allowed to complete the check-in process as per the new travel procedures.
The new terms include the use of e-tickets and passengers will not be allowed to enter airport premises without one. Purchasing tickets inside airport grounds is currently not an option because booking services for airline sales are currently closed.
Wearing a face mask is a prerequisite for airport access and any individual who fails to wear a face mask will be denied entry to the airport.
Passengers under the age of 15 will not be allowed to travel unaccompanied.
The Ministry of Health has set up temperature checkpoints inside the airport and passengers recording a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or higher will be denied entry in order to ensure their safety and the safety of other passengers.
Social distancing inside the airport has been adopted at entrances, exits, at seating areas and bridges leading to airplanes.
There will be social distancing on the aircraft, with an empty seat between each passenger, according to recommendations from the Ministry of Health, which stipulated that there must be social distancing.
“We want to make airports a safe environment to achieve a safe flight. There is another important issue, which is a well-known social tradition. There are many people at the airport who come to say goodbye to their loved ones or receive them. We will not allow the presence of people who do not have tickets in the airports, in order to ensure the safety of passengers,” said the GACA spokesman.
He said that passenger cooperation and compliance played a key role in the successful restart of flights.
“We rely on citizens and passengers, locals and residents alike, to help us implement preventive measures and to comply with the health rules recommended by the Ministry of Health.”