International Dialogues to Fight Illicit Economies

Program Summary

International Dialogues to Fight Illicit Economies Fact Sheet
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Whether in the form of piracy, prostitution, money laundering, wildlife trafficking, people trafficking, the sale of counterfeit goods, or the trade of illegal drugs, illicit economies are emerging as an interdisciplinary field of activity shaping individual lives and societies across the world.

Although difficult to measure, several UN agencies have estimated that the global illegal economy could be worth between $2-4 trillion annually.

Illicit Economies are creating a vicious cycle affecting society through failures in governance, state fragility, violence, corruption and underdevelopment.

Meridian International Center will partner with PMI IMPACT to deploy a six-part convening series over the course of 2020 to raise awareness on the tribulations of illicit economies.

Held at Meridian’s historic campus, sessions will will bring together 25-30 leaders and cross-section of experts, decisionmakers, and influencers from the U.S. government, multinational institutions, foreign diplomatic corps, private sector, think tank community and civil society to examine areas of illicit economic activity, and work towards viable multisectoral solutions.

Use #stopillegal to follow along. For more information, or if you are interested in participating, please email

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Themes and Dates

The sessions will be thematic and include corruption and impunity, crime and environment, violence and instability, illicit trade and financial flows, human mobility and exploitation, and cybercrime.

Session 1: Tackling Corruption to Strengthen Development and Security
Day and time: Thursday, March 5, 2020; 8:00 am-10:30 am
Location: Meridian House (1630 Crescent Place, NW, Washington, DC 20009)

Corruption is at the root of all illicit economies. This interactive program explored the need for good governance to outperform organized crime in order to bolster security and raise the effectiveness of development.  The Honorable Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Member of the Senate Committee on Finance, The Honorable Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairwoman Emeritus of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Senior Advisor at Akin Gump, and Mr. Frank Vogl, Co-founder of Transparency International and Partnership for Transparency Fund, spoke on this issue.

Session 2: Crime and Environment

Session 3: Violence and Instability
Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Session 4: Illicit Trade and Financial Flows
Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Session 5:Human Mobility and Exploitation
Thursday, September 10, 2020

Session 6: Cybercrime
Thursday, November 5, 2020

Working Group Meeting
Tuesday, December 15, 2020

More information on each session to be announced.

Program Partner

PMI IMPACT is a global grant initiative by Philip Morris International (PMI) to support projects dedicated to fight illegal trade and related crimes. PMI IMPACT is the funding sponsor of this initiative.





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