G7 Leaders’ Summit needs to bring kleptocracy to the centre of debate
From 26 to 28 June, the Group of Seven (G7) will meet for the Leaders’ Summit to discuss how they can collaborate to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
In the lead-up to the Summit, Transparency International released a position paper outlining the most important actions for G7 leaders to stop the flow of dirty money that fuels kleptocracy around the globe.
Maíra Martini, corrupt money flows expert at Transparency International, said:
“For too long, professional enablers, banks, companies, and the real estate and luxury sectors across G7 countries have provided safe haven to shady actors and their illicit wealth. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the G7 made big promises to go after kleptocrats and their money. But when we examined the current state of play, we found under-resourced authorities and plenty of secrecy. This makes tracking down assets an uphill battle – be it to implement Russia-Ukraine sanctions or in the context of investigations to hold kleptocrats accountable. Perhaps because of these challenges, most governments have also been tight-lipped about their progress tracing suspect assets.
“We’re disheartened to see that this year’s G7 Presidency Programme fails to mention corruption or the disastrous impact the unchecked flow of dirty money has on so many of the G7’s priorities. Transparency International calls on all G7 leaders to heed their own pledges and use the opportunity of the Summit to outline exactly how they will deny safe haven to corrupt actors and their loot.”
Anna-Maija Mertens, executive director of Transparency International Germany, said:
“Democracy is under pressure worldwide, while authoritarian regimes strengthen their hold on power thanks to corruption and dirty money. We call on the German government to live up to its historic responsibility by bringing transnational corruption to the centre of debate during its G7 presidency. While the creation of the Russian Elites, Proxies, and Oligarchs (REPO) Task Force was a welcome first step to strengthen multilateral efforts, we need decisive action from the G7 so that targeted sanctions against Russian kleptocrats help achieve accountability. Looking ahead, the G7 should institutionalise the Task Force as a permanent body and expand its scope to target kleptocrats from around the world.
“In addition, the C7 Open Societies Working Group – which we co-lead – also calls on G7 governments to ensure comprehensive disclosure of beneficial ownership information and the protection of civil society actors working against corruption and abuse of power. The C7 handed over their demands personally to Olaf Scholz at the C7 Summit last month. It is his duty to ensure that the G7 resolutely addresses these problems to strengthen a free and functioning civil society as the cornerstone of democracy worldwide."
Note to editors
This statement is available in German.
- Position paper (21 June 2022): Positions for the G7 Summit 2022 – Tackling kleptocracy and transnational corruption
- Statement (24 May 2022): G7 and other leading economies unequipped to go after Russian elites, new report finds
- Report (24 May 2022): Up to the task? The state of play in countries committed to freezing and seizing Russian dirty money
- Statement (3 May 2022): C7 Open Societies Statement 2022
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Transparency International Secretariat
Transparency International Germany