Arab Forum on Asset Recovery
The Arab Forum on Asset Recovery (AFAR), which was established in 2012, is a stand-alone initiative in support of asset recovery efforts by Arab Countries in Transition. It works as a platform bringing together the G8, the Deauville Partnership, as well as countries in the Arab World in cooperation for the return of stolen assets. The Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) Initiative is closely involved in the organization and running of the Arab Forum, and is supported in its work by a number of international bodies
The first meeting of the Arab Forum (AFAR I) was held in Doha, Qatar in 2012.
AFAR identifies the needs of countries seeking the return of stolen assets, provides a forum for regional training and discussion of best practices on cases, and raises awareness locally and internationally of the most effective measures for asset recovery. AFAR also contributes to progress on actual asset recovery cases, including by facilitating direct dialogue on cases between countries and relevant officials.
The Arab Forum held its second intergovernmental meeting (AFAR II) in October 2013 in Marrakesh, Morocco. The gathering was hosted by the Kingdom of Morocco and co-organized with the United Kingdom in its role as 2013 President of the G-8.
The primary objective of AFAR II was to take stock of the progress that has been made in asset recovery efforts by Arab Countries in Transition. AFAR II also set the future objectives for asset recovery work to be carried out within the framework of the Arab Forum.
The First Meeting of the Arab Forum on Asset Recovery (AFAR I)
The first meeting of the Arab Forum (AFAR I) was attended by over 200 representatives including: Attorney-Generals, Ministers of Justice, policy makers, judicial officers, prosecutors, investigators, and financial intelligence analysts, as well as other expert practitioners from over 25 countries. It brought together - for the first time - key individuals, institutions and governments, for an open discussion on the challenges and expectations related to asset recovery in the Arab World.
Following the success of AFAR I, three ‘Special Sessions’ took place from February – September 2013 on different aspects of the asset recovery process: domestic coordination, financial investigations, mutual legal assistance and the role of civil society.
The Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition
The Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition is an international effort launched by the G-8 at the Leaders Meeting in Deauville, France in May 2011 to support countries in the Arab World engaged in transitions toward “free, democratic and tolerant societies.”
The Action Plan on Asset Recovery
At Camp David, on the 21 May 2012, the G8 adopted its 'Action Plan on Asset Recovery' within the overall framework of the Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition. In the plan, the Deauville partnership countries committed to a comprehensive list of actions aimed to promote cooperation, capacity building efforts and technical assistance in support of the efforts of Arab countries in transition in recovering assets diverted by past regimes. See further information on the Action Plan at: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/190483.htm
Technical Assistance by StAR
The Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR) - a joint program of The World Bank and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime – is a key partner in the Asset Recovery Action Plan and provides support to the Arab Forum. StAR has also been actively engaged in assisting Arab countries in transition, assisting in developing strategies, improving interagency coordination, engaging in international cooperation and in facilitating their efforts to recover stolen assets.