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ANEEJ takes MANTRA to United Nations expert meeting

More than 70 international experts attending UNODC Addis II meeting in Ethiopia focusing on return of stolen assets. Photo/twitter/stolenassets

African Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) has again been invited by the United Nations to the international expert meeting on the return of stolen assets, organised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

This is given the success of the implementation of Transparency and Accountability in the Recovery and Management of looted Assets (MANTRA) Phase 1 project.

The meeting, which started yesterday and ends tomorrow in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is in conjunction of the governments of Ethiopia and Switzerland.

Chief, Conference Support Section, Corruption and Economic Crime Branch of the UNODC, Brigitte Strobel-Shaw, who invited ANEEJ’s executive director, Rev. David Ugolor, to the meeting, said: “The purpose of the meeting is to provide a forum for dialogue among asset recovery practitioners and policy makers for the development of draft good practices in asset return, taking into account the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which recognises the return of assets as a fundamental principle.

“The expert meeting will analyse successful asset return cases, as well as trends and developments in asset return, thereby identifying common obstacles to international cooperation in the return of assets and innovative ways of overcoming them.

“It will assess, based on lessons learnt, whether there are any good practice emerging from the past experience. The outcome of the meeting will be presented to the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on Asset Recovery at its next meeting.”

Ugolor said ANEEJ would be presenting the Success Story of Mantra being supported by the British Department for International Development (DfID) under its Anti-Corruption in Nigeria (ACORN) programme.

“We are going to the expert meeting in Addis Ababa to share our field experience from our monitoring the $322.5 million being deployed to the poorest of the poor under the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme of the Federal Government’s National Social Investment Programme (NISP). It is a partnership between the government of Nigeria, civil society drawn from the six geo-political zones of the country and the international community, and we are excited to share our story. We are happy to share it to the whole world as a model that works,” Ugolor stated.

MANTRA is being implemented by ANEEJ in collaboration with six partners spread across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria.

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