Background & Objectives
The inaugural Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) was held in Washington, DC, December 4th to 6th, 2017, hosted by the United Kingdom and the United States with support from the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR). Its inaugural meeting focused on assistance to four priority countries: Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Tunisia and Ukraine.
This Forum was the place for partnership and collective action, bringing together partners, and officials from throughout these countries to coordinate action-steps. It provided a platform to empower the investigators and prosecutors charged with identifying and tracing assets and getting necessary cooperation with financial centers in recovering and returning them.
The deliverables for GFAR included progress on cases achieved by the four focus countries, increased capacity through technical sessions, renewed commitment to advancing asset recovery cases, and increased collaboration among involved jurisdictions.
Organization of GFAR
GFAR built upon the previous experiences of the Arab Forum on Asset Recovery (AFAR) and the Ukraine Forum on Asset Recovery (UFAR). It was structured along similar lines, with a high-level opening session, substantive technical workstreams to share best practices and provide technical training to asset recovery practitioners, and emphasis on parallel bilateral and multijurisdictional meetings for case coordination. It was also foreseen to include civil society participation in the opening and plenary sessions, appropriate open technical sessions, and specific sessions organized by civil society organizations.
The target audience included policymakers and practitioners from the four priority countries, with delegations sufficiently staffed to be able to cover all necessary meetings. Delegations included operational staff (e.g., financial investigators, police, prosecutors, judges, central authorities) with direct responsibility for the asset recovery cases to be discussed
Other participants included relevant jurisdictions from which the four priority countries have requested the return of assets or have initiated cases and require cooperation, or which may have case-relevant information. Similarly, delegations included those national authorities who were directly involved in the cases requiring attention.
Other interested countries and organizations were invited based on their ability to contribute to the substantive workstreams.
GFAR was established as an outcome of the 2016 Anti-Corruption Summit, hosted by the United Kingdom. The Summit communiqué points to the provisions of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) that call for the proceeds of corruption to be identified, seized, confiscated and returned.