How the Lausanne Seminar helps boosting public-private collaboration in asset recovery

Bern, 03.09.2021 - Criminals are increasingly using new and sophisticated methods to hide stolen assets. Combatting these trends is in the common interest of States and financial centers. It is therefore crucial that public and private actors share their respective expertise in this area. Hence, the 11th Lausanne Seminar brought together around 150 experts from the public and private sectors coming from all continents. Specific examples were used to explore how public-private collaboration can make the asset recovery process more effective. Based on these findings, the collaboration will be further developed.

During the two-day virtual seminar, held on 2-3 September 2021, international experts looked at emerging practices to strengthen information sharing between the public and private sectors when identifying, freezing and confiscating stolen assets. Against the background of ever-new methods of money laundering, the participants drew on first-hand experience and analyzed how criminal law enforcement agencies, financial intelligence units (FIUs) and financial institutions can use complementary expertise, information and capacity to enhance economic crime detection and facilitate asset tracing. The result is a compilation of insights on how asset recovery challenges can be addressed and resolved by leveraging advances and opportunities for greater financial information sharing partnerships (FISP) collaboration.

“Participants took home building blocks to further develop public-private collaboration in their respective jurisdictions and to strengthen cross-border information sharing,” said Corinne Cicéron Bühler, Director of the Directorate of International Law of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (DIL).

The Lausanne Process

The DIL initiated the Lausanne Seminar series in 2001. For many years, the seminars have been organized together with the International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR) of the Basel Institute on Governance and the Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) Initiative of the World Bank and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). This year, the seminar was further supported by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) ‘Future of Financial Intelligence Sharing’ (FFIS) research program.

The purpose of the Lausanne Seminars is to foster dialogue and the exchange of expertise on asset recovery as well as to strengthen international cooperation. It is also a characteristic of the Lausanne Seminars that they go beyond traditional working methods and build bridges between stakeholders. This year's edition once again successfully put this maxim into practice: in addition to the usual actors in the asset recovery process (States and international organizations), private sector actors were invited to play an active role in the seminar.

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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs