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IMF discusses fighting global corruption during annual meeting

IMFC Governors applaud after UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon addressed them April 18, 2015 at the IMFC meeting at the 2015 IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings In Washington, DC. This was the first time a UN Secretary General has attended the IMFC meeting. Source: IMF Staff Photo/Stephen Jaffe.

This material belongs to: CGTN America.

The annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund & World Bank has closed in Washington.

One sideline agreement to come out of the event: announcement that Afghanistan has been approved for membership in the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, known as AIIB.

Meanwhile, the IMF Chief used a Sunday panel to talk about the body’s efforts to crack down on corruption.

CGTN’s Toby Muse has more.

At the closing of the IMF’s annual general meeting in Washington, Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the international lender should be more involved in battling corruption.

“We have solicited from the board that we be approved and authorized to look in to additional tools possibly, different ways of dealing with it. Different ways of enlisting the support of the authorities with which we work without which we will not go very far. And that’s precisely the exercise we have underway at the moment and my hope is that we are further encouraged to look into corruptions within our mandate and within our missions. “, said Christine Lagarde the Managing Director of the IMF.

The IMF is pushing for regulatory reform in countries it lends money to. This would include streamlining the process of permits, fees and contracts for public works. Lagarde has also said that the IMF should help strengthen legal institutions to investigate and prosecute corruption.

Transparency international, a global organization that tracks corruption, has urged the IMF to be even more aggressive in battling corruption. It wants the IMF to also rate countries’ anti-money laundering initiatives.

The IMF estimates that some two trillion dollars is lost each year through corrupt activity. Here in Washington, Lagarde warned the harm of corruption extends well beyond stolen money. Unchecked, she said, corruption can weaken citizens’ faith in their very systems of governance.

CGTN’s Wang Guan speaks with Nick Karambelas. He’s a founder of a law firm specializing in international business, and a part of the legal counsel for the American Hellenic Institute.