The Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA), represented by its Founder and President, Professor Rym Ayadi, signed the petition of Transparency International for an end to the abuse of anonymous companies, joining the call for the UN General Assembly Special Session against Corruption, UNGASS 2021, to commit all countries to set up central, public registers of beneficial ownership. EMEA is committed to transparency and has already launched the Debt Transparency Initiative which aims to enhance knowledge about debt related issues, particularly in low-income countries (LICs) and lower-middle-income countries (LMICs).
The UN General Assembly’s decision to hold a Special Session against Corruption in 2021 created a historic opportunity for the international community to address the global crisis of corruption. Companies that exist only on paper, exploiting our legal systems and concealing their ultimate ownership, are tools for the diversion of critical resources needed to advance sustainable development and collective security. Corruption devastates the lives of billions of people around the world, while its deadliness has become all the more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis.
Beneficial ownership information – information on the natural persons who ultimately own, control or benefit from a legal vehicle – enables cross-border enforcement and the tracing of ill-gotten assets for confiscation and return. In public contracting processes, it helps in the detection of conflicts of interest and corruption. It also makes it easier for businesses to carry out due diligence, helps them know who their partners and customers are and meet reporting obligations.