Last week, the Independent Integrity Unit (IIU) attended the 23rd Conference of International Investigators, which was hosted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London, United Kingdom. IIU Head Karen Ernst, Chief of Investigations Mike Hyung Tae Kim, and Investigations Specialist Kathryn Ramos represented the Unit at the event.
The theme of this year’s conference was “Investigating in Times of Crisis,” and included sessions on a variety of topics, including investigations in fragile conflict areas, fraud risks in climate finance, and the use of artificial intelligence in investigative operations.
Mike was a panelist on a session entitled “Emerging Risks and Challenges in Climate Finance Integrity,” which focused on the role of multilateral institutions in assisting developing countries with green climate initiatives, and some of the inherent risks that exist in this innovative and complex financing space.
During his presentation, Mike highlighted that 100 billion USD in annual global climate funding – in addition to official development assistance – needs to be distributed expeditiously to developing countries on a variety of mitigation and adaptation projects, which poses challenges to oversight functions of development institutions.
On GCF work specifically, Mike discussed how the organisation combines integrity policies reflected in fiduciary standards and contractual provisions with active monitoring and oversight functions in order to manage investment risk. Increasing collaboration and information sharing across the integrity and oversight offices of multilateral and bilateral financing institutions, international organisations, government agencies, and civil society organisations can be crucial in maximising the impact of limited resources and effectively safeguarding increased flows of climate funding.
The panel also featured Samir Fahoum, Head of Investigations at The Global Fund; Marco Loretti, Head of Investigations and Exclusion Unit at the European Investment Bank; and Jorge Huerta, Oversight, Audit & Compliance Senior Specialist at Inter-American Development Bank.
The three-day conference included panel discussions, workshops, open floor exchanges and networking events. Attending investigators were able to share best practices, exchange knowledge, learn, and share ideas in the common fight against fraud, corruption and other wrongdoing.
More information about the conference and Mike’s session can be found on the conference website.