Organisations linked to PMI IMPACT

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Overview

This is a record of significant organisations that have either partnered with PMI IMPACT on projects, or produced PMI IMPACT sponsored content.

For projects that have received PMI IMPACT funding as part of the main funding initiative, visit the List of Successful PMI IMPACT Applicants page.

Organisations

Concordia

PMI has partnered with NGO Concordia on illicit trade projects in recent years (in addition to other topics including on industry transformation, resilience, recovery, science, innovation, inclusion, and public-private partnerships):

In July 2022, a roundtable on trade-based money laundering, free trade zones, and port security featured Grégoire Verdeaux, Sr. VP of External Affairs at PMI – along with representatives from the Organization of American States, the US Department for Homeland Security, and Guatemala’s Minister of Economy. It was chaired by David Luna, Executive Director of the International Coalition Against Illicit Economies (ICAIE), who is also chairman of the OECD Task Force to Combat Illicit trade and of the Business at OECD taskforce on illicit trade, co-chaired by Alvise Giustiniani, VP of Illicit Trade Prevention at PMI.12

In December 2020, PMI hosted a roundtable on combatting illicit financing in Africa as part of the 2020 Concordia Africa Initiative. The event focused on fostering public-private cooperation.3 

El Cronista, Argentina

The Regional Summit on Security and Illicit Trade was hosted by Argentinian newspaper El Cronista in partnership with PMI IMPACT in June 2019.4 It featured PMI IMPACT Expert Council members, PMI impact grantees (e.g. Freeland Foundation), and organizations with links to the tobacco industry, including Crime Stoppers and the US Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica.5

The Economist, UK

Though it is unclear how many of these initiatives were funded through PMI IMPACT as such, PMI has sponsored a large number of publications and events put together by the Economist on the illicit trade in recent years. These include:

  • An October 2018 conference on fighting against illicit trade hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce in Tunisia, in collaboration the Economist and TRACIT.6
  • A January 2020 event held in Davos and entitled “Confronting global challenges: Solidarity in an era of retreat”, whose speakers included the VP of the European Investment Bank, the heads of Brookings Institution and the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and PMI’s then CEO André Calantzopoulos.7
  • A virtual webinar entitled “Illicit trade in a post-pandemic world: Learning from disruption” held in December 2020. Speakers included senior representatives from Europol, the OECD Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade, Alvise Giustiniani (VP, Illicit Trade Prevention, at PMI), and Carlos Moreira (Member, PMI IMPACT Expert Council).8
  • A December 2020 briefing paper by the Economist Intelligence Unit entitled “Unintended consequences, unexpected benefits: Technology, crime and illicit trade”. The authors noted in conclusion: “Without trust, meaningful cooperation between governments and the private sector, or between law enforcement and citizens, will never materialise.”9
  • A panel discussion, as part of the Global Trade Week in June 2021, entitled “Countering the counterfeits in e-commerce”, featuring Alvise Giustiniani (VP, Illicit Trade Prevention at PMI), and David Luna (chairman of the OECD Task Force to Combat Illicit trade and of the Business at OECD taskforce on illicit trade, which is co-chaired by Giustiniani)10
  • A virtual webinar held in December 2021 on the “Continental shift: Tackling illicit trade in Europe”, where speakers included PMI’s Giustiniani and Stefano Betti of TRACIT.11 Publications listed as resources for the event were all from or linked to the tobacco industry: PMI/The Economist, TRACIT, and KPMG.
  • A 2021 policy brief by the Economist Intelligence Unit entitled “Lasting effects: How the COVID-19 pandemic will change illicit trade”, which noted that “the usual loose grouping of malicious opportunists is exploiting new vulnerabilities: individual criminals, organised crime networks and international terrorist organisations.”12 The report fails to discuss how the tobacco industry was also able to capitalise on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Financial Times, UK

In September 2017, PMI IMPACT and the Financial Times held a joint event titled Combating Illicit Trade: Progress, Challenges and Collaborative Solutions.13 The conference included panel discussions, dialogues, presentations, and interviews, including talks about the projects selected as part of PMI IMPACT’s first funding round, and a speech by PMI’s Chief Executive Officer at the time, André Calantzopoulos.13 Other speakers included members of PMI IMPACT’s Expert Council, academics, and representatives of the EU Commission, Europol, Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Developments (OECD), the World Customs Organization (WCO), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the UNODC.13

MED 2019, Italy

PMI IMPACT was a knowledge partner in the 5th edition of the Rome MED – Mediterranean Dialogues 2019 Conference, organized by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI). It gathered participants from 55 countries, including heads of state, ministers, and senior representatives from international organizations.14 One afternoon specifically tackled illicit trade, focusing on the role of terrorist and organized crime groups. Participants notably included eight PMI representatives, and representatives from the OECD, United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the European External Action Service (EEAS), and the European Commission.1516

Meridian International, US

Between March 2020 and June 2021, Meridian Internatoinal, a Washington D.C.-based and self-described “nonpartisan, nonprofit diplomacy center”17 received US$100,000 from PMI IMPACT18 to partner on six events as part of Meridian’s “International Dialogues to Fight Illicit Economies” series.19 The events featured several PMI representatives, including Hernan Albamonte (Senior Manager, External Affairs and Head of Illicit Trade Prevention for the United States), Alvise Giustiniani (Vice President, Illicit Trade Prevention), Suzanne Hayden (PMI IMPACT Expert Council member), foreign diplomats (including from El Salvador, Botswana, Mexico, Spain, and Egypt), US government officials (including Department of Labour, Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, and United States Agency for International Development – USAID), and other renowned civil society groups (including Transparency International, Global Financial Integrity, and Brookings Institution). A central recurring topic and recommendation of the sessions was the need for increased engagement with the private sector.19

In October 2019 Meridian held an event in partnership with PMI on agricultural technology, which featured representatives from the US Department of Agriculture and agricultural attachés from a number of embassies (e.g. of Mozambique, Chile, Turkey), as well as J.B. Simko, head of PMI’s office in Washington, D.C. and Vice President, External Affairs.2021 In the event description on the Meridian website, PMI is described as follows: “In moving towards a smoke-free future, PMI is taking steps to transform its value chain, re-skilling farmers and other employees, sourcing raw materials in a sustainable manner and reducing their environmental footprint.”20

  • For more on the tobacco industry’s greenwashing tactics, visit our Greenwashing page.
  • For more on Meridian and its ties to the tobacco industry, visit our Meridian International page.

Munich Security Conference, Germany

The Conference is one of the most prominent events on security and defence issues worldwide, featuring heads of state and government from across the world, in addition to ministers, ambassadors and heads of international government organizations. PMI IMPACT has been a sponsor for several years, notably as a knowledge partner to the MSC’s Transnational Security Initiative22

In 2022, Alvise Giustiniani, VP, Illicit Trade Prevention at PMI, tweeted: “With #PMIIMPACT, we’re fostering an inclusive approach for public and private actors to build innovative programs against illegal trade in its many forms. ​We’re honored to join @MunSecConf Transnational Security series”23 Other PMI participants to the 2022 conference included Dmitry Y. Belousov (Vice President External Affairs Eastern Europe, PMI), Marco Mariotti, (President Eastern Europe, PMI).24 and PMI’s Senior Vice President of External Affairs Gregoire Verdeaux, who sat down with MSC’s CEO Benedikt Franke ahead of the conference to stress that “We must continue taking steps toward real cooperation between the public and private sectors” in the fight against illicit trade.25

In 2020, PMI IMPACT co-hosted an off-the-record roundtable titled ““Trading Violence: Conflict Economies in the Sahel and Beyond,” which began with on-the-record presentations from Abdalla Hamdok, Prime Minister of the Republic of the Sudan, and Michèle Coninsx, UN Assistant Secretary General and Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate.22

PMI IMPACT (along with EY) was a knowledge partner on a 2019 conference publication entitled “Transnational Security Report Cooperating Across Borders: Tackling Illicit Flows”.26 One of its recommendations is to “Join forces through cross-industry and public-private partnerships where appropriate to fight illicit trade, such as the Latin American Alliance Against Smuggling, which brings together regional public and private efforts.”26

The 2018 Munich Security Conference also featured a panel on “New Strategies to Counter Trafficking”, which was hosted by PMI Impact and the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), and which featured Julian King, then European Commissioner for the Security Union (2016-2019).2728

United Nations Global Compact, US

PMI has used its former membership of the UN Global Compact (UNGC) to promote PMI IMPACT and attempt to portray this association as evidence that PMI is in collaboration with the UN and supports “broader UN goals”.29 In 2016 and 2017, when it was still a member of the UNGC, PMI published two UNGC ‘communications on progress’ reports. The first report outlined the launch of PMI IMPACT as a “catalyst for a more holistic approach against the illegal tobacco trade, corruption and organized crime” (Image 2).29 The second report described PMI IMPACT as “a global initiative governed by independent experts to sponsor third-party initiatives”.30

Image 2. Page on PMI IMPACT, taken from PMI’s year-2015 ‘communication on progress’ for the UNGC.29Using the association with the UNGC, is a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) tactic, whereby PMI tries to enhance its reputation and present themselves as a good corporate citizen, despite the harms caused by its products. In September 2017, recognizing that “tobacco products are in direct conflict with UN goals”, the UN Global Compact instituted an exclusion for companies that “produce and/or manufacture tobacco or are part of a joint venture, have a subsidiary or affiliate stake in a company that produces and/or manufactures tobacco”.31

  • For more information, see (UNGC).

World Policy Conference Foundation, Switzerland

In October 2019, PMI IMPACT was listed as a partner of the twelfth edition of the World Policy Conference, held in Marrakech. The conference included a plenary session entitled “Cross-border illegal trade: a destabilizing factor for the global economy”, moderated by Alvise Giustiniani, Vice President for Illicit Trade Prevention at PMI, Carlos Moreira, PMI IMPACT Expert Council, and Jean-François Thony, President of the PMI IMPACT-funded Siracusa International Institute, who notably told the audience: “Global strategies to fight illicit trafficking cannot be developed and implemented without or against the private sector. That is why the Siracusa International Institute asks the private sector companies concerned to join this discussion and back the efforts undertaken.”32

Zermatt Summit Foundation, Germany

In September 2019, an Anti-Illicit Trade Declaration Calling on the International Community to Address all Forms of Illicit Trade was signed as part of the 2019 Zermatt Summit.33 Its signatories were representatives of34:

  • The Zermatt Summit Foundation – dedicated to “harnessing the power of Business and Finance for the Common Good”35
  • Sucafina SA – a coffee producer and distributor;
  • The OISTE Foundation – founded by PMI IMPACT Expert Council member Carlos Moreira
  • WISeKey – founded and headed by Moreira
  • And PMI’s VP of Illicit Trade Prevention Alvise Giustiniani on behalf of Philip Morris Products SA

A roundtable on the illicit trade organized as part of the 2019 Zermatt Summit also featured Moreira, Giustiniani and a United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) representative.36 Moreira, Giustiniani and David Luna (chairman of the OECD Task Force to Combat Illicit trade and of the Business at OECD taskforce on illicit trade, which is co-chaired by Alvise Giustiniani) shared another panel organized by the Zermatt Summit Foundation and the OISTE foundation on 12 November 2020, entitled “Fighting illicit trade by promoting the blue economy in the age of sustainability”37

 

Tobacco Tactics Resources

PMI IMPACT

List of Successful PMI IMPACT Applicants

Philip Morris International

Concordia

Crime Stoppers International

United Nations Global Compact (UNGC)

US Chamber of Commerce

 

 

References

  1. Concordia (@ConcordiaSummit), ‘“Preventing illicit trade is central to many public health policies around the world. Right now, millions of nicotine legal-age consumers are turning to the black market, largely driven by ineffective policies that are not addressing the root causes of the issue…’, tweet, 13 July 2022, 10:09AM
  2. Concordia, 2022 Americas Summit Agenda, 13-14 July 2022, accessed 14 July 2022
  3. Concordia, Combating Illicit Financing in Africa, Roundtable hosted by Patron Member PMI at the 2020 Concordia Africa Initiative, 7 December 2020, accessed 14 July 2022
  4. PMI, Latin America’s head-on fight against illicit trade, STOP Illegal blog, 23 June 2019, accessed 14 July 2022
  5. PMI, Latin America’s Head On Fight Against Illicit Trade (2019), Youtube, 1 June 2021, accessed 14 July 2022
  6. US Chamber of Commerce in Tunisia (@AmChamTunisia), ‘AMCHAM CONFERENCE ON FIGHTING AGAINST ILLICIT TRADE: In collaboration with The Economist Intelligence Unit and the Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade’, tweet, 25 October 2018, 5:54AM
  7. The Economist, Confronting global challenges: Solidarity in an era of retreat, 23 January 2020, accessed 14 July 2022
  8. The Economist, Illicit trade in a post-pandemic world: Learning from disruption, 1 December 2020, accessed 14 July 2022
  9. The Economist, Unintended Consequences, Unexpected Benefits: Technology, crime and illicit trade, Briefing Paper, December 2020, accessed 14 July 2022
  10. The Economist, Countering the counterfeits in e-commerce: Panel exploring technology innovation in the trade space with a specific focus on illicit trade, June 2021, accessed 14 July 2022
  11. The Economist, Continental shift: Tackling illicit trade in Europe, 9 December 2021, accessed 14 July 2022
  12. The Economist, Lasting effects: How the COVID-19 pandemic will change illicit trade, 2021, accessed 14 July 2022
  13. abcFinancial Times Live, Combating Illicit Trade: Progress, Challenges and Collaborative Solutions, undated, accessed October 2017
  14. CDeNews, Fifth Edition Of Conference “Rome MED – Mediterranean Dialogues”, The Dispatch, 5 December 2019, accessed 13 July 2022
  15. MED, Illicit Trafficking, #MED2019 – Agenda, 5 December 2019, accessed 13 July 2022
  16. MED, Illicit Trafficking – Along Remote Routes: Countering Illicit Traffics in the Broader Mediterranean Region, 5 December 2019, accessed 13 July 2022
  17. Meridian, Who we are, accessed 17 January 2023
  18. Meridian, Our supporters, 2020, accessed 17 January 2023
  19. abMeridian, International Dialogues to Fight Illicit Economies, accessed 17 January 2023
  20. abMeridian, Agricultural attachés assess advanced agritech, October 2019, accessed 17 January 2023
  21. US-ASEAN Business Council, J.B. Simko Bio, April 2019, accessed 17 January 2023
  22. abMunich Security Conference, Transnational Security Initiative, undated, accessed 14 July 2022
  23. PMI, ‘With #PMIIMPACT, we’re fostering an inclusive approach for public and private actors to build innovatihttps://twitter.com/MunSecConfve programs against illegal trade in its many forms.​We’re honored to join @MunSecConf Transnational Security series’, tweet, 18 February 2022, 9:30AM
  24. MSC, Munich Security Conference 2022: List of Confirmed Participants, 18-20 February 2022, 14 July 2022
  25. PMI, Collaboration remains the key to success in the fight against illicit trade, Illicit trade prevention, undated, accessed 14 July 2022
  26. abMSC, Transnational Security Report – Cooperating Across Borders: Tackling Illicit Flows, 2019, accessed 14 July 2022
  27. SCHAR School TraCCC, 17 February 2018, In the News, George Mason University, accessed 14 July 2022
  28. MSC, Annual Report 2018, undated, accessed 14 July 2022
  29. abcPhilip Morris International, PMI UNGC Communication on Progress, 2015, 2016, accessed October 2016
  30. Philip Morris International, Communication on Progress, 2016, 12 September 2017, accessed October 2017
  31. UN Global Compact, UN Global Compact Integrity Policy Update, Updated 13 October 2017, accessed May 2022.
  32. World Policy Conference, 12th Edition, Oct. 12-14, 2019, Marrakech, Morocco, undated, accessed 13 July 2022
  33. Globe Newswire, OISTE Foundation and Zermatt Summit Foundation Sign the Anti-Illicit Trade Declaration Calling on the International Community to Address all Forms of Illicit Trade at the 2019 Zermatt Summit, 13 September 2019, accessed 14 July 2022
  34. OISTE & Zermatt Summit, The Anti-Illicit Trade Declaration: Calling on the International Community to address all Forms of Illicit Trade, undated, accessed 14 July 2022
  35. Zermatt Summit, homepage, undated, accessed September 2022
  36. Zermatt Summit, ZS19 Day 2 OISTE & Carlos Moreira “Anti-Illicit Trade Declaration” – Zermatt Summit 2019, Youtube, 25 September 2019
  37. Zermatt Summit, Webinar 12.11.20 – Fighting illicit trade by promoting the blue economy in the age of sustainability, 29 October 2020, accessed 14 July 2022
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