Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Baghdad to Host Int’l Conference on Recovering Looted Funds

Baghdad to Host Int’l Conference on Recovering Looted Funds

Wednesday, 15 September, 2021 - 05:45
An aerial view of Baghdad, Iraq, Aug. 11, 2021. (Reuters)

An international conference for the recovery of looted funds will be held in Baghdad on Wednesday, under the auspices of the Iraqi government and the participation of Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Abul Gheit.

The two-day conference will also be attended by a number of justice ministers, heads of judicial councils and supervisory bodies, as well as representatives of Arab organizations, and legal, academic and media figures.

The Iraqi Integrity Commission and the Ministry of Justice are organizing the conference, which will feature joint workshops and the presentation of research papers that address obstacles facing national regulatory authorities in recovering stolen assets and funds that have been transferred outside their countries of origin, according to a statement by the Commission.

The conference is expected to come out with a set of decisions, recommendations, results and initiatives that encourage the participating countries to promote cooperation and the exchange of legal assistance.

Iraq has been suffering for years from corruption and mismanagement, and often tops the list of the most corrupt countries in the index of international organizations, including Transparency International.

In May, President Barham Salih revealed that about USD 150 billion had been smuggled out of the country since 2003 through illicit means. Iraq is a member of the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

Mohammad Rahim Al-Rubaie, head of Al-Nahrain Network for Integrity and Transparency, underlined the importance of the conference.

“The interest of the Arab League and other international organizations is a need raised by the widespread popular demands to recover the looted funds after the wave that is now known as the Arab Spring,” Al-Rubaie told Asharq Al-Awsat.

He added that a report by Transparency International in 2019 found that the volume of corruption in Arab countries reached nearly USD 300 billion, or about 30 percent of the total corruption around the world.

Editor Picks