This Thursday, May 12, UK Prime Minister David Cameron will host an international anti-corruption summit in London. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to attend the summit, which will bring together high-level government representatives, business leaders and civil society to step up international efforts to address corruption. Last week the White House announced a several steps the U.S. will take to strengthen financial transparency, and combat corruption, money laundering, and tax evasion.
Last year, the Enough Project launched its new investigative initiative The Sentry, co-founded by George Clooney and Enough’s Founding Director John Prendergast, which seeks to dismantle the networks of perpetrators, facilitators, and enablers who fund and profit from Africa’s deadliest conflicts. Experts at the Enough Project will be attending the anti-corruption summit, and are available for interviews, analysis, and comment.
John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project and co-founder of The Sentry, said: "Corruption is the enabler of many critical problems around the globe. In Africa, for example, grand corruption is not only at the heart of under-development and poverty but also of violence and armed conflict. The anti-corruption summit is an opportunity for world leaders to recommit to existing tools to counter corruption, identify new ones, and imagine broader strategies to dismantle the kleptocratic networks undermining Africa's economic future. The test of success for the summit will be whether governments implement and enforce these tools in a serious way that changes the calculations of officials who now prioritize personal gain over the public good, often with deadly consequences. If so, the summit can be a game-changing moment for millions of people in Africa."
Brad Brooks-Rubin, Director of Policy at the Enough Project and The Sentry, said: “A stated goal of the anti-corruption summit is to agree on a package of practical steps to shed light on corruption and punish its perpetrators. Fortunately, the international community is not starting from scratch. The U.S. Government, for example, already possesses a wide range of financial investigative tools and levers of financial pressure that can be used to expose corruption and create consequences for government officials who misappropriate state assets. While commitments made at the summit should be applauded, governments that already have the power to counter kleptocracy must more proactively use the tools at their disposal to do so.”
J.R. Mailey, Senior Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: "Raising beneficial ownership transparency standards and curbing the abuse of anonymous shell companies should be high on the agenda at the summit. This amounts to one of the most dangerous loopholes in the international economic system, as it empowers kleptocrats, predatory investors, drug cartels, pirates, wildlife traffickers, and a host of other illicit actors. Without exception, every country around the world should maintain public registries that contain information about the true owners and directors of every business entity formed in their territory.”
Ian Schwab, Director of Advocacy and Impact Strategy at the Enough Project, said: "Congressional leaders have a one-of-a-kind opportunity right now to fight global corruption. In an often divided Congress, the Global Magnitsky Act has bi-partisan support, has already passed in the Senate, and has strong support in the House. Members of both parties and in both chambers of Congress have demonstrated their desire to stem the scourge of corruption and the violence and abuse that are its collateral crimes. Magnitsky does just that, holding accountable those involved in corruption and anyone who commits human rights abuses against the brave people who expose their corrupt acts. With the legislative calendar shrinking, the time is right for this bill to move forward."
Resources for reporters covering the Anti-Corruption Summit:
- Op-ed by John Prendergast (Daily Beast, 2016): “Dirty Money Fuels South Sudan’s War”
- Op-ed by John Prendergast (TIME, 2015): “President Obama Must Help Tackle Africa’s Hijacked States”
- Op-ed by John Prendergast and J.R. Mailey (Daily Beast, 2015): "From FIFA to Sudan, Let's Make the World Unsafe for Kleptocracy"
- Enough Project report (2016): “Modernized Sanctions for Sudan: Unfinished Business for the Obama Administration”
- The Sentry report (2015): “The Nexus of Conflict and Corruption in South Sudan”
- The Sentry: Country Briefs (Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and South Sudan)
About THE SENTRY
The Sentry seeks to dismantle the networks of perpetrators, facilitators, and enablers who fund and profit from Africa’s deadliest conflicts. Our investigations follow the money from conflict zones and into global economic centers, using open source data collection, field research, and state-of-the-art network analysis technology. The Sentry provide
About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, andthe pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org