On October 29th, Shia Rights Watch attended the United Nation’s Office of the High Commissioner’s event on Illicit Financial Flows, Human Rights and the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The crux of this event was to disseminate information and spur dialogue about UN efforts to significantly reduce illicit financial flows by 2030. This presentation included numerous high-level UN personnel as well as representatives from dozens of NGOs.
The reduction of illicit financial flows is a key element of reducing terrorism and anti-Shiism. Illicit financial flows through activities such as the arms trade and the drug trade have funded terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS which routinely attack Shia Muslims. International illicit financial networks have allowed for these groups to draw from multiple sources to fund their attacks and their dissemination of anti-Shia rhetoric.
Illicit financial flows also weaken the responses of governments with anti-Shia violence within their borders. Mr. Juan Pablo Bohoslasvky, the UN Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights, spoke about a report that shows a strong positive relationship between the amount of illicit financial flows and the amount of corruption within a country. The more rampant illicit financial flows are in a country, the more corrupt that government will be. This corruption will, for example, slow the responsiveness of a country’s government to shootings and bombings that occur.
Shia Rights Watch repeatedly criticize the responsiveness to numerous countries to anti-Shia violence in their territory and those countries have long records of both corruption and illicit financial flows. Last month the United Nations adopted the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals as a part of the Post-2015 development agenda, and a large aspect of this agenda is the reduction of these illicit financial flows. Cracking down on the arms trade, the drug trade, tax dodging, and other unethical practices will be the most effective way that the international community can combat terrorism at its formation.