Curbing Corruption and Illicit Financial Flows

Illicit financial flows and corruption rob governments and their citizens of revenue; devastate trust in the state and the rule of law; and feed crime, terrorism, and unethical behavior.

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idea_bulbIn just a few weeks on September 25, heads of state and government from around the world will gather in New York City at the U.N. summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda. Expected to be the largest gathering of heads of state ever, the summit will set out a voluntary framework known as the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, that will inform global development policy and practice for the next 15 years. The new framework will replace the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs—eight goals that the world has used as a roadmap to work toward ending extreme poverty for the past 15 years.

Crucially, whereas the MDGs, which were launched in 2000, focused mainly on important social aspects of development—poverty, health, and child survival—the new framework is broader and tackles underlying barriers to development. The agreement includes the following specific language to combat illicit financial flows, or IFFs, and corruption, which undermine good governance and development: “by 2030 significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen recovery and return of stolen assets, and combat all forms of organized crime” and “substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all its forms.”

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