February 20, 2018

Whitehouse Statement on 2018 Munich Security Conference

Providence, RI – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) is back on American soil after traveling to Munich, Germany to join more than 500 world leaders and international security decision-makers at the Munich Security Conference, which is the major global forum for the discussion of security policy.  Whitehouse has served as the Democratic lead for the bipartisan Congressional delegation to the annual conference at the invitation of Senator John McCain (R-AZ) since 2013.

Cindy McCain traveled to Munich to accept the Ewald von Kleist Award, which is given each year to individuals who have significantly contributed to international peace and conflict resolution, on behalf of her husband, Senator McCain.  McCain shared a message from her husband urging American allies to stand up for the values that have led the world for decades and recalling the spirit of bipartisanship that has long been the hallmark of the American Congressional delegation to the conference.

“This year’s delegation was notably different without Senator McCain, with whom I have had the privilege of traveling to this conference for many years,” Whitehouse said.   “Our delegation raised a toast to Senator McCain, who is known to leaders from every corner of the globe as one of America’s greatest advocates on the world stage.  It is our duty as members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to, as Senator McCain so eloquently said, ‘never, ever stop fighting for all that is good, and just, and decent about our world, and each other.’”

This year’s delegation included thirteen members of Congress.  While in Munich, Whitehouse led the delegation in bilateral meetings with heads of state and government and cabinet ministers from a number of countries, including Britain, France, Canada, Germany, Norway, Iraq, Poland, Qatar, Singapore, and Ukraine.  He also participated in a panel discussion of U.S. foreign policy alongside Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Senator James Risch (R-ID), and Representative Mike Turner (R-OH). 
“Over and over again in Munich, world leaders expressed alarm about the attempted interference and corruption of Western democracies by kleptrocratic states,” continued Whitehouse.  “I hope our bipartisan delegation has returned with a renewed focus on moving legislation forward and working alongside our allies to increase transparency, crack down on corruption, and protect the laws and traditions that underpin free, prosperous nations.”

Whitehouse is the sponsor of the bipartisan True Incorporation Transparency for Law Enforcement (TITLE) Act, which would make it more difficult for criminals and foreign enemies to hide assets from tax authorities and law enforcement.  In recent years, many countries have required greater transparency in their incorporation laws, while the United States has lagged behind, making it one of the most attractive places in the world to set up dummy corporate entities that can be used to conceal money laundering and other illicit activities.

The Munich Security Conference took place from Friday, February 16 through Sunday, February 18. 


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