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The Globalization Reader, 5th Edition by John Boli, Frank J. Lechner

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43 Closing the Corruption CasinoThe Imperatives of a Multilateral Approach

Peter Eigen

It is with very real pleasure that I accepted the invitation of our hosts to speak at this, the opening of Global Forum II, at a time when all the players in the battle against corruption face tremendous challenges.

In facing those challenges, it is imperative that we never forget the victims of corruption, from the plundering and misuse of rich oil resources by Sani Abacha to the wilful abuse of a siege economy by Slobodan Milosevic.

  • While the world called for Milosevic to be arrested on war crimes, prosecutors in Serbia arrested him on charges of corruption and abuse of power. More than US $70 million has been located in Swiss bank accounts linked to the Milosevic regime. The people of Serbia have not only lost the lives of many of those closest to them, but have at the same time been swindled by his brutal regime.
  • Abacha, who ruled Nigeria until his death in June 1998, stripped Nigeria of at least US $7 billion, a sum vast enough to begin to turn the tide of the HIV AIDS epidemic, a tragedy that is threatening the lives of a new generation in sub-Saharan Africa from the moment each child emerges from a mother's womb.

How can we not act when the proceeds of Abacha's money-laundering remain in the vaults of banks in Britain and Switzerland? This is a challenge we must address in The Hague this week. Another is to ensure that the launch of the Euro does not descend into a carnival of ...

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