By Blair Glencorse and Sanjeeta Pant

The G20 needs to strengthen regulatory authorities across its membership and expand sanctions for violating Anti-Money Laundering requirements.

The G20 is meeting again next week in Indonesia for the second time this year- at a moment when the world is facing the most difficult economic, political and social challenges for decades.

At their core, these problems are driven by corruption- from the “weaponization” of graft by Russia in Ukraine to the lack of regulation of the enablers of corruption in G20 countries such as the UK. This malfeasance costs lives and livelihoods- and is directly responsible for everything from energy black-outs to food and fuel shortages.

Critical decisions are being made by the G20 about the ways that governments can collectively manage what is now considered a significant transnational threat to peace and prosperity. But despite the earnest anti-corruption commitments made by G20 countries annually, follow-up and delivery on these commitments is a challenge.

Civil society has to make its voice heard on these issues now, before it is too late. The Civil-20 (C20)– which we Co-Chair- engages the G20 on behalf of civil society. Over the past several months we have collectively gathered ideas from civil society around the world related to five central corruption challenges on which the G20 must take action immediately: Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and asset recovery; beneficial ownership transparency; countering corruption in the energy transition; open contracting; and the transparency and integrity of corporations.

This is what the C20 members are telling the G20 it needs to do now. First, effective anti-money laundering efforts are key to detecting illicit financial flows from corrupt activities in countries like Russia.

The G20 needs to strengthen regulatory authorities across its membership and expand sanctions for violating AML requirements, in particular for large financial institutions and what are called Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) that facilitate illicit financial flows (such as lawyers or accountants).

Similarly, when assets are returned they need to be aligned to GFAR principles, including through the engagement of civil society and community groups to support the transparency of this process.

 

Originally published by IPS News