October 23, 2007
Convened by the Government of Norway
Remarks by Raymond W. Baker
Secretary Stenhammer, Ambassador Lovald, Eva Joly, David Spencer, ladies, and gentlemen. Thank you very much for convening this opportunity to discuss cross-border illicit financial flows and their impact on development.
2007 marks the 46th year of my involvement in the developing countries. I lived 15 years in Nigeria and over more than 30 additional years have now done business or research in some 60 developing and transitional economies. Across these years I have become a critic of corruption and poor governance and weak institutions in many countries. Having said this, I have become an even stronger critic of our—the West’s—facilitating role in corruption, poor governance, and weak institutions in many poorer countries. This has been the driving force of my interest for years.