Yes, but not necessarily in the way most people think. Peter Reuter addressed this question at the Center for Global Development last week based on research in Draining Development? Controlling Flows of Illicit Funds from Developing Countries – a volume that he edited for the World Bank. It is clearly the most thorough assessment to date in assessing the channels by which illicit flows affect development.
CGD Policy Blogs
With relentlessly bad news out of Syria, the search continues for what the world can do to put pressure on Assad’s regime and to lay the groundwork for a future, legitimate Syrian government. The case for preemptive contract sanctions is becoming ever more compelling. Under this approach, the United States, United Kingdom, and other members of the Friends of Syria, would declare that new contracts with the Assad regime are illegitimate and that our courts should not enforce them if a legitimate successor government in Syria repudiates them. This could deter new loans and investments in Syria’s oil or other sectors and send a signal to the Assad regime that the economic pressure will not loosen.
I argued three months ago that donors should refinance rather than cancel Burma's $11 billion debt. The logic: the reforms underway in Burma, while remarkable and welcome, are also delicate, reversible, and incomplete. The country's famed opposition figure Aung San Suu Kyi called early this year for the suspension rather than termination of the economic sanctions against her country.
Charles Dunne, Director of MENA Programs at Freedom House, posted a timely op-ed in Huffington Post over the weekend calling for preemptive contract sanctions against the Assad regime in Syria. Charles' piece came on the heels of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meeting in New York, where countless speeches, meetings and behind-the-scene
For the third time in recent months, Russia, supported by China, blocked United Nations action to put additional pressure on Bashir Assad and help end the violence in Syria. A UN Security Council resolution is the preferred way to go. But if that is not possible, preemptive contract sanctions can tighten the squeeze on Assad without the cooperation of Russia and China.
The Friends of Syria coalition will meet in Paris on July 6 to discuss how they might stem the escalating violence in Syria. Once again there will be much hand wringing on what to do and a search for new ideas. Owen Barder and I, who have been working with our colleagues at CGD and officials in the U.S.
David Gordon and Stephen Krasner, two respected former State Department Policy Planning Directors, have a timely oped in Politico today on Syria policy options. They claim, convincingly, that the current bimodal choice between the (dead?) Kofi Annan plan or (costly & risky) military strikes ignores further squeezing the Assad regime.
This is a joint post with Kimberly Elliott
The April 12 deadline for a complete ceasefire in Syria seems to have slightly damped the violence in Syria for now, but alone it will do nothing to ensure a peaceful transition to a democratic government. President Bashar Assad’s government is still not complying with other parts of the UN brokered peace plan aimed at ending more than a year of deadly violence, and world leaders are insisting that a credible political transition must take place quickly for this fragile progress to hold any weight.
This post is joint with Jenny Ottenhoff
As the violent crackdown on protesters in Syria intensifies, so does the international search for an effective response that stops short of military intervention. Meeting in Washington last week, U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron called on their governments and allies to ratchet up pressure on the Bashar al-Assad regime, but they offered no new diplomatic options and stopped short of endorsing mounting calls for military action, leaving many in the international community wondering: what else can be done?