World Economic Forum meeting, More parties in Davos – LACTUACHO.COM

This week, policymakers, business leaders and other public figures gathered in Davos, Switzerland, where the biggest meeting of the World Economic Forum took place in person after a two-year hiatus. We dropped this one, but our Davos 2020 warning about how corruption is eating away at democracy still rings true.

You didn’t have to be in the room to notice that this year’s gathering was different, not least because VIP guests had to leave their ski gear due to the new slot. Most notable was the absence of Russian elites, who fell out of favor with the West after Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

For decades, Davos has attracted Russia’s super-rich looking to increase their international visibility and mingle with the global elite. We didn’t find out firsthand, but Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska’s Davos after-parties were apparently legendary at the time.

Now Western governments are hunting the riches of Deripaska and other Russian elites in a bid to implement the sanctions they have unleashed on individuals linked to the Kremlin. This is no small feat: after all, bankers, wealth managers and other enablers – many of them part of Davos’ usual VIP audience – helped design a loophole-ridden global financial system that has allowed kleptocrats in Russia and elsewhere to relocate and hide their disease. -earnings obtained throughout the world.

New study from Transparency International – Up to the task? The state of affairs in countries engaged in freezing and seizing dirty Russian money – revealed that virtually nothing prevents Russian elites from exploiting the same loopholes again, so that they can keep their assets beyond the reach of the authorities.

Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States have all pledged – collectively and individually – to freeze and seize yachts, private planes and private mansions linked to the Kremlin. Yet they all have major vulnerabilities in the ability to trace these and other assets. From ending corporate secrecy to regulating catalysts, urgent reforms are needed at all levels so that suspicious assets can be quickly tracked down and frozen.

And even then, justice may not be in sight. Multilateral efforts have focused too much on sanctions, which are unlikely to bring accountability. To break the cycle of impunity, the ultimate goal of multilateral efforts should be to confiscate and return all assets stolen from victims. But governments do not yet provide enough powers, resources or tools to their authorities to do so.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz took center stage in Davos yesterday to champion multilateralism and call for greater cooperation to address threats to the global order.

Kleptocracy is precisely such a threat, and while Germany and other governments are finally cooperating in new task forces to tackle elites, they still aren’t pulling their full weight, as our analysis shows. . Next month, Olaf Scholz will host the G7 Leaders’ Summit, and this is a perfect opportunity for these governments to show they mean business.

We are not alone in this demand: over 134,000 people – and counting – from around the world have signed our petition calling on leaders to ensure that kleptocrats have nowhere to hide, no one to help them and no impunity.

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