Can G20 Summits Deliver Financial Reform?

In 1975 heads of state from six countries met for a fireside chat in a French castle to fix the world economy. As 20 world leaders meet in a Mexican resort this week the number and the location have changed, but the situation and the level of expectation have not.

The problem summits face in trying to exude a sense of accomplishment is that promises to act become weaker if the action promised is never delivered.

This week we again turn to the G20 in the hope of seeing measures to restore global economic stability.

One aspect of the G20's response to the financial crisis has been a commitment to address the lack of transparency that contributed to it with a strong plan of action to deal with corruption and its various manifestations.

At the November 2010 Seoul summit, the agreed plan covered a broad swath of action: from tackling financial crimes like money laundering and bribery, to improving protection for people exposed to reprisals if they blow the whistle on problems such as dodgy bank loans.

Importantly, the plan if implemented would bring badly needed improvements to regulation of the international financial system, with more transparent management of public finances, more transparency on financial vehicles, such as trusts, misused to conceal their true nature and their owners, better oversight of illicit cross border financial flows, stronger watchdogs and greater cooperation between officials. It would also help countries dealing with corruption, allowing faster recovery of stolen assets and sanctioning of corrupt officials. Read more

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