Illicit Financial Flows: Plugging the Leaks to Curtail Corruption and Promote Economic Development

9 November 17:30 – 19:30

Session Description:

Illicit financial flows are facilitated by global financial opacity and perpetuate poverty. The movement of dirty money around the globe is enabled by mechanisms of the shadow financial system, which in turn undermine development initiatives. This shadow financial system includes tax havens, secrecy jurisdictions, anonymous corporations, fraudulent foundations, trade mispricing mechanisms, money laundering techniques, and loopholes in laws that facilitate the movement of corrupt, criminal, and commercially tax-evading money across borders. The financial architecture that allows money to move around the world is the same one used by corrupt dictators and criminals to hide funds and evade law enforcement. It is in the best interest of the corrupt and criminal to prevent or weaken improvements to economic development and governance, and the consequences of this murky structure and the money it moves are clearer than ever. Recent events such as the financial crises in the United States, the debt crisis in Europe, and the uprisings during the Arab Spring have demonstrated the interconnectedness of the international financial system and the need for a global approach in addressing systemic issues. This workshop will demonstrate the role of financial transparency initiatives in the global fight against corruption by providing audience members with a general understanding of illicit financial flows and the mechanisms that enable them. Panelists will discuss the steps that both regulating authorities and the private sector can take in pursuing financial transparency initiatives, ensuring accountability, and addressing corruption.

Session Coordinator/Rapporteur:

Sarah Bracht

Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development

Session Moderator:

Raymond Baker


Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development


Heather Lowe

Legal Counsel and Director of Government Affairs

Global Financial Integrity

Topic: Anti-money laundering, transparency in beneficial ownership, regulatory perspective

Øygunn Brynildsen

Policy and Advocacy Officer

European Network on Debt and Development

Topic: Country-by-country reporting, automatic exchange of tax information, tax as sustainable development financing

Brigida Benitez


Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Topic: Strategies for the private sector to ensure integrity, transparency, and accountability

Marlon Paz

Principle Integrity Officer

Inter-American Development Bank

Topic: Strategies for the private sector to ensure integrity, transparency, and accountability

Back to Agenda