The White House
August 10, 2006
National Strategy to Internationalize Efforts Against Kleptocracy
"High-level corruption by senior government officials, or kleptocracy, is a grave and corrosive abuse of power and represents the most invidious type of public corruption. It threatens our national interest and violates our values. It impedes our efforts to promote freedom and democracy, end poverty, and combat international crime and terrorism. Kleptocracy is an obstacle to democratic progress, undermines faith in government institutions, and steals prosperity from the people. Promoting transparent, accountable governance is a critical component of our freedom agenda." -- President George W. Bush, August 10, 2006
Today, The President Unveiled His National Strategy To Internationalize Efforts Against Kleptocracy, Pledging To Confront High-Level, Large-Scale Corruption By Public Officials And Target The Proceeds Of Their Corrupt Acts. This Strategy Is A New Component Of His Plan To Fight Corruption Around The World. Public corruption erodes democracy, rule of law, and economic well-being by undermining public financial management and accountability, discouraging foreign investment, and stifling economic growth and sustainable development.
- Kleptocracy Is A Threat To The Governments And Citizens Of Both Developing And Developed Countries. Corruption by senior officials in executive, judicial, legislative, or other official positions in government can destabilize whole societies and destroy the aspirations of their people for a better way of life.
The President's National Strategy To Internationalize Efforts Against Kleptocracy
This New National Strategy Builds On The President's Commitment Made With The G-8 Leaders At Their Recent Summit In St. Petersburg. At the G-8 summit, President Bush committed to promote legal frameworks and a global financial system that will reduce the opportunities for kleptocracies to develop and to deny safe haven to corrupt officials, those who corrupt them, and the proceeds of corrupt activity.
- The Strategy Has As Its Foundation In The President's Proclamation, Made In January 2004, To Generally Deny Entry Into The United States Of Persons Engaged In Or Benefiting From Corruption.
- The Strategy Advances Many Of The Objectives In The National Security Strategy By Mobilizing The International Community To Confront Large-Scale Corruption By High-Level Foreign Public Officials And Target The Fruits Of Their Ill-Gotten Gains.
- The Strategy Reaffirms The President's Commitment To Ensure That Integrity And Transparency Triumph Over Corruption And Lawlessness Around The World, Expand The Circle Of Prosperity, And Extend America's Transformational Democratic Values To All Free And Open Societies.
Specifically, The Strategy Promotes Our Objectives By Committing To:
- Launch A Coalition Of International Financial Centers Committed To Denying Access And Financial Safe Haven To Kleptocrats. The United States Government will enhance its work with international financial partners, in the public and private sectors, to pinpoint best practices for identifying, tracing, freezing, and recovering assets illicitly acquired through kleptocracy. The U.S. will also work bilaterally and multilaterally to immobilize kleptocratic foreign public officials using financial and economic sanctions against them and their network of cronies.
- Vigorously Prosecute Foreign Corruption Offenses and Seize Illicitly Acquired Assets. In its continuing efforts against bribery of foreign officials, the United States Government will expand its capacity to investigate and prosecute criminal violations associated with high-level foreign official corruption and related money laundering, as well as to seize the proceeds of such crimes.
- Deny Physical Safe Haven. We will work closely with international partners to identify kleptocrats and those who corrupt them, and deny such persons entry and safe haven.
- Strengthen Multilateral Action Against Bribery. The United States will work with international partners to more vigorously investigate and prosecute those who pay or promise to pay bribes to public officials; to strengthen multilateral and national disciplines to stop bribery of foreign public officials; and to halt bribery of foreign political parties, party officials, and candidates for office.
- Facilitate And Reinforce Responsible Repatriation And Use. We will also work with our partners to develop and promote mechanisms that capture and dispose of recovered assets for the benefit of the citizens of countries victimized by high-level public corruption.
- Target And Internationalize Enhanced Capacity. The United States will target technical assistance and focus international attention on building capacity to detect, prosecute, and recover the proceeds of high-level public corruption, while helping build strong systems to promote responsible, accountable, and honest governance.
The President's Announcement Builds On Established U.S. Leadership In The International Fight Against Corruption. The U.S. actively supports development and implementation of effective anticorruption measures in various international bodies and conventions. In addition to the G-8, we have promoted strong anticorruption action in the:
- UN Convention Against Corruption
- OECD Anti-Bribery Convention and the OECD Working Group on Bribery
- Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
- Council of Europe Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO)
- OAS Mechanism for Implementing the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption
- Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum's Anticorruption and Transparency (ACT) Initiative
- Broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) "Governance for Development in Arab States" (GfD) Initiative.