Luna Global Networks Supports Strong Bipartisan Policies to Combat Kleptocracy and Illicit Trade in 2021

David M. Luna

In a statement released today, David M. Luna, CEO & President of Luna Global Networks, encouraged President Joe Biden and the US Congress to make the fight against kleptocracy and illicit trade an important US national security and foreign policy priority. Luna will be further amplifying this important message in his upcoming participation at meetings and webinars including by the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS), Meridian International Center, the OECD Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade, The Business 20, the Anti-Illicit Trade Institute, and at other events by intergovernmental and business organizations.

During his Inaugural Address on January 20, and remarks earlier this week at the US Department of State on America's place in the world, President Biden underscored the importance of strengthening alliances to disrupt threats before they can reach the shores of America. President Biden expressed a strong foreign policy commitment to peace and security anchored in dynamic diplomacy, whole-of-society partnerships, and global institutions in order to address many of today's global challenges and to restore democracy. In January 2021, US Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Todd Young (R-IN) introduced bipartisan legislation, the Combating Global Corruption Act (S.14), that would elevate the fight against international corruption as a national security priority.

In these tumultuous times around the world with the pernicious effects of COVID-19, kleptocracy, climate change, insurrections and conflicts, illicit economies, and other wicked harms, American leadership is needed more than ever not only to restore faith in our democratic institutions and the rule of law, but to address economic recovery and tackle an array of transnational security threats. 

"The reality is that both corruption and illicit trade are threat multipliers that ripple across borders and imperil democratic freedoms and institutions and systems of open, free, and just societies," said Luna. "Corruption corrodes the underpinnings of democracy, good governance, clean markets and supply chain security, and economic development efforts. It also impedes progress on human rights and implementation of national sustainability strategies. Illicit trade, which includes a convergence of numerous trafficking, smuggling, financial, cyber, and fraud crimes, fuels a multi-trillion-dollar illegal economy globally every year."

Illicit trade further hampers economic development by preventing the equitable distribution of resources that provide for sustainable futures. It enables kleptocrats to pillage their countries, violent trafficking organizations to expand their operations, and terrorist groups to finance their attacks against our communities.

"A firm commitment by President Biden and the US Congress to prosecute the twin devils of kleptocracy and illicit trade would be welcomed, as is a forward-looking foreign policy that advances the greater good, democratic values and collaborative partnerships that help keep our community of democracies more prosperous, secure, and safe," emphasized Luna.

David M. Luna is a former US diplomat and currently Chair of the Business at OECD's Anti-Illicit Trade Expert Group; and Senior National Security Fellow, Terrorism, Transnational Crime, and Corruption Center, George Mason University.

Source: Luna Global Networks


The International Coalition Against Illicit Economies (ICAIE) brings together diverse champions across sectors and communities, including former members of the public sector, companies and prominent organizations from the private sector and civil society to mobilize energies to combat cross-border illicit threats and protect global security. ICAIE is a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, DC.

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