THE GROUP OF SEVEN (G7) will meet for the Leaders’ Summit from 26 to 28 June, to discuss how they can collaborate to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

In the lead-up to the Summit, Transparency International has released a position paper outlining the most important actions for G7 leaders to take to stop the flow of dirty money that fuels kleptocracy around the globe.

Maíra Martini, corrupt money flows expert at Transparency International, said: “For too long, professional enablers, banks, companies, and the real estate and luxury sectors across G7 countries have provided safe haven to shady actors and their illicit wealth.

“After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the G7 made big promises to go after kleptocrats and their money. But when we examined the current state of play, we found under-resourced authorities and plenty of secrecy. This makes tracking down assets an uphill battle – be it to implement Russia-Ukraine sanctions or in the context of investigations to hold kleptocrats accountable. Perhaps because of these challenges, most governments have also been tight-lipped about their progress tracing suspect assets.

“We’re disheartened to see that this year’s G7 Presidency Programme fails to mention corruption or the disastrous impact the unchecked flow of dirty money has on so many of the G7’s priorities. Transparency International calls on all G7 leaders to heed their own pledges and use the opportunity of the Summit to outline exactly how they will deny safe haven to corrupt actors and their loot.”

Anna-Maija Mertens, executive director of Transparency International Germany, said: “Democracy is under pressure worldwide, while authoritarian regimes strengthen their hold on power thanks to corruption and dirty money. We call on the German government to live up to its historic responsibility by bringing transnational corruption to the centre of debate during its G7 presidency.

“While the creation of the Russian Elites, Proxies, and Oligarchs (REPO) Task Force was a welcome first step to strengthen multilateral efforts, we need decisive action from the G7 so that targeted sanctions against Russian kleptocrats help achieve accountability. Looking ahead, the G7 should institutionalise the Task Force as a permanent body and expand its scope to target kleptocrats from around the world.

“In addition, the C7 Open Societies Working Group – which we co-lead – also calls on G7 governments to ensure comprehensive disclosure of beneficial ownership information and the protection of civil society actors working against corruption and abuse of power. The C7 handed over their demands personally to Olaf Scholz at the C7 Summit last month. It is his duty to ensure that the G7 resolutely addresses these problems to strengthen a free and functioning civil society as the cornerstone of democracy worldwide.”

The G7 is an informal political forum of Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and the United States of America. Their heads of states come together at an annual summit to discuss global issues and co-ordinate their decisions. In 2022, Germany will take over the annually rotating Presidency following the United Kingdom.

An important part of the G7 process is the dialogue with various interest groups, called Engagement Groups. Civil7 (C7) is one of the official Engagement Groups of the G7 and represents positions from the international civil society, particularly from non-governmental organisations. The other groups are Women7 and Youth7, Business7, Labour7, Thinktank7 and Science7. Each interest group organises their communication and positioning processes with the G7 independently.

* Read Tackling Kleptocracy and Transnational Corruption: Positions for the G7 Summit 2022 here.

* Sources: Transparency International and Civil7