Preliminary actions were discussed in Vienna concerning the Global Asset Recovery Forum (December 2017, USA) with the focus on Ukraine. The Ukrainian chapter of Transparency International jointly with other chapters of the global network, discussed the results of work on the Recovery of Assets in their countries. Representatives of the Ukrainian authorities did not attend either at the round table or the session of the UN Working Group on the Recovery of Stolen Assets. The issues presented by Ukraine in December at the Global Forum is still a mystery for the general public.
On August 24-25, the annual session of the intergovernmental working group on Asset Recovery took place at the UN headquarters in Vienna. At the same date, August 24, the NGO coalition organized an international roundtable discussion to discuss the preliminary actions for the Global Asset Recovery Forum to be held in Washington, DC, December this year.
The Forum will focus on four main countries: Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Tunisia and Ukraine, and the representatives of TI Ukraine and the Center for Combating Corruption participated in the roundtable and presented compiled report results on the Ukrainian Asset Recovery.
Representatives from all countries stressed the absence of objective information provided by their governments on the progress of assets recovery and investigation of cases of grand corrupt officials.
Andrii Sliusar, coordinator of the prevention actions against grand officials at TI Ukraine, believes that our state has the same problem: “The Ukrainian government, despite all the promises, has not created the opportunity for public control over the process of confiscation of assets of high ranking corrupt officials. Closed information about the investigation of crimes committed by high ranking corrupt officials, about seized or frozen assets located abroad and the procedure for their recovery creates an atmosphere of mistrust and impunity in Ukraine. It is very important that Ukraine publicly announces results at the Global Forum.”
The organizers of the Global Forum (governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and the World Bank) underline a need to involve law enforcement practitioners working in the sphere of assets recovery, as well as civil society activists from the focused countries. The organizers highlighted the importance of alternative reports on the activities mentioned above from the general public.
In addition to public organizations, government delegations from the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and the World Bank’s stolen assets initiative were joined by the roundtable. Sadly to say but the representatives of Ukrainian authorities, despite the invitation received from organizers, did not take part in this round table. Likewise, Ukraine did not attend the aforementioned session of the UN Working Group.
The only thing is to hope that representatives of the Ukrainian authorities will be able to organize effective participation of Ukraine in the Global Forum in December in the United States and will cooperate with non-governmental organizations on this issue. For its part, Transparency International Ukraine is open to cooperation.