It is vital to distinguish between legal corruption (such as that exposed by the Panama Papers) and illegal corruption (such as that exposed by the Unaoil scandal) and recognize that this is a moment for governments to take decisive action against both. Both the U.S. and the U.K.—which hosts the May Anti-Corruption Summit—have an unprecedented opportunity to make a difference.
The U.K. is well-positioned to champion this issue at the Anti-Corruption Summit to be hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron in London on 12 May 2016. The U.K. should commit to revising its own reporting requirements to include these transactions, advocate for EU-level change, and lead an international process to end trading secrecy that includes other major trading hubs like Switzerland, Singapore and the United States.
As prices of various commodities fall, many resource-rich countries are facing increasingly difficult choices. This series of articles, by NRGI experts and the organization’s partners, explores specific challenges in different contexts, as well as the solutions open to countries facing lowered investment, reduced government revenues, and increasing deficits.