Due to their global nature and mobility, ill-gotten assets are often drained from countries of origin and invested in countries of destination that offer high secrecy. Therefore, efforts to tackle illicit financial flows require collaboration and coordination across borders and expertise from various sectors.

The Global Forum on Illicit Financial Flows and Sustainable Development (Global Forum) is a global platform that brings together representatives from the public and private sectors, civil society, and academia. Its primary objective is to strengthen the sustainable development policy perspective within the international system for combating illicit financial flows.

To achieve its goal, the Global Forum operates in two mutually reinforcing pillars: exchange and action. By establishing a robust connection between the strategic exchange and technical implementation of practical and innovative solutions, the Global Forum contributes to a conducive environment for international anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) standards as well as the Agenda 2030.

Graphic showing the two pillars of the Global Forum IFF – Exchange via the Biennial Symposium and Action via the Call for Ideas.

Under pillar 1, exchange, the Global Forum hosts a Biennial Symposium, providing a platform for relevant stakeholders to discuss the latest trends, approaches, risks, and challenges in combating illicit financial flows. This allows the identification of areas in need of implementation. But the commitment goes beyond awareness-raising and discussions. To turn the recommendations and findings from the Global Forum Symposium into concrete actions, the Global Forum holds, under pillar 2, action, a Call for Ideas that provides economic support to innovative project ideas that aim to make a real difference in the fight against financial crime.


Strengthening collaboration and exchange between relevant stakeholder groups for combating illicit financial flows.


Combating illicit financial flows through measures and standards that avoid unintended consequences, foster South-South cooperation and strengthen South-North dialogues.

Coherence and continuity

Consolidating a long-term alignment between policy guidance and technical implementation.


Ensuring that topics and formats are relevant for practical implementation and feasible.

Connection to global standards/agendas

Linking efforts to existing standards and agendas for combating illicit financial flows.

To ensure a high level of flexibility for responding to changing environments and emerging trends, the Global Forum operates in two-year thematic cycles. At the outset of each cycle, the Global Forum Advisory Group, composed of renowned experts, practitioners, and organizations from relevant backgrounds, determines the overarching thematic framework for the upcoming two years. This framework is influenced by current developments and the most pressing issues of the time and builds the umbrella for the following Global Forum Symposium and corresponding Global Forum Call for Ideas.