Open letter to G20 Leaders: Confront cross-border corruption to make recovery from ongoing crises possible
Dear G20 Leaders,
With the Bali summit about to begin, Transparency International calls on you to rescue the G20 anti-corruption agenda. Corruption – particularly large-scale, cross-border corruption – is fuelling numerous crises we collectively face and undermining the international community’s efforts to mitigate their effects. To reverse this dangerous course, we urge you to seize the opportunity of the summit to recommit to combatting transnational corruption by delivering on previous pledges and accelerating the implementation of new measures.
We commend the G20 members who in recent months have fast-tracked key anti-corruption reforms and began to trace suspicious assets from abroad, including by countering kleptocrats in the wake of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Yet we note with great concern that, collectively, the G20 has shied away from even discussing how to advance this fight and ignored their previous commitments. As scrutiny over illicit wealth intensifies in some parts of the G20, nothing is stopping the corrupt and criminals from moving stolen assets to other countries that have yet to crack down on dirty money.
We acknowledge the Indonesian presidency’s desire to remain steadfast in G20’s core mission: to play a strategic role in global economic development and prosperity. Yet the G20’s collective unwillingness to confront some of the biggest global governance challenges of today undermines this effort. High-level, cross-border corruption has been too controversial for the G20 to address this year, and business as usual has continued under the guise of multilateralism.
In fact, we need more – not less – multilateral action in these times of turmoil. We need it to be underpinned by an honest reflection of G20’s role leading up to today’s crises and followed by decisive collective actions to correct the course.
The G20 already has an anti-corruption agenda that is expressed through the various commitments you have made together over the years. Countries must finally take responsibility to follow through on these promises and strengthen the agenda going forward. The G20’s new anti-corruption plan adopted at the 2021 Rome summit is a good start on this path, as it promotes the implementation of the previous pledges and recognises the need to build on them through additional targeted actions.
That is why we are urging you to hold yourselves and each other accountable, and to forge ahead with an ambitious anti-corruption agenda that will help to end the state of turmoil in which our societies find themselves. Continued inaction will hurt chances of sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, derail measures to address the ongoing economic recession and the worsening climate crisis, and undermine energy transition efforts.
If the G20 wants to play a strategic role in securing future global economic growth and prosperity, it cannot ignore the threat of cross-border corruption that has been shaping global affairs. The success of the Bali summit and G20’s work in the year ahead hinges on members’ joint response.
Transparency International Argentina (Poder Ciudadano)
Transparency International Australia
Transparency International Brazil
Transparency International Canada
Transparency International EU
Transparency International France
Transparency International Germany
Transparency International Indonesia
Transparency International Italy
Transparency International Mexico
Transparency International Russia
Transparency International Secretariat
Transparency International South Africa (Corruption Watch)
Transparency International Turkey
Transparency International UK
Transparency International US