Thursday, September 20, 2007

World Bank and UN Partnership for recovery of stolen assets to help curb African corruption

International Herald Tribune - World Bank and UN to help poor nations recover stolen assets
Ghanaian Chronicle - Ghana: TI Welcomes the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative, Says It Could Help Trace Stolen Monies
The World Bank - Launch of Stolen Asset Recovery

The World Bank and the UN’s new partnership, the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (STAR), was inaugurated earlier this week. A concern has developed regarding stolen money leaving developing countries to go overseas to developing countries. Africa has suffered the highest level of this corruption, “where an estimated 25 percent of the gross national product of states is lost to corruption.” In Nigeria alone, during former President Sani Abacha’s presidency, the President and his accomplices stole between $3 and $5 billion of Nigeria’s public assets. This corruption is especially troubling, because the money is desperately needed to fight poverty and treat HIV and AIDS in these countries.

STAR was established to assist in curbing this corruption. It provides expert assistance to developing countries to track stolen money that leaves the country and repatriate these assets. Additionally, it denies corrupt officials a foreign place to hide the money. The recovered assets will hopefully be used to implement social programs to assist with development in these countries.

Discussion Questions:
Will this partnership ensure cooperation between developing and developed countries to help end this corruption?

Whose responsibility is it to fight this corruption in developing countries? Developed countries? Developing countries? Both?

Should the sending countries or the receiving countries bear most of the blame for this corruption?

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