PMI IMPACT is a funding initiative launched by Philip Morris International (PMI) in 2016. According to its website, the aim of PMI IMPACT is to fund projects that are “dedicated to fighting illegal trade and related crimes, such as corruption, organized crime and money laundering”. Public organisations, law enforcement, private entities, and non-governmental organisations from around the world” were all encouraged to submit project proposals to PMI IMPACT. The first funding round called for “projects that have an impact on illegal trade and related crimes in the European Union, even if they are implemented elsewhere” (Image 1). The initiative put forward three focus areas, with each funding proposal required to address at least one of them. The areas were:
- Education & awareness;
Each proposal needed to demonstrate how it was “likely to have a clear impact on the illegal tobacco trade”. On 15 September 2016, PMI issued a press release stating that 170 organisations, “including government agencies, universities and research institutes, NGOs, and private entities proposed more than 200 projects” under the three focus areas put forward by the initiative.
A second press release, issued on 14 December 2016, announced that 41 proposals had been selected from the first funding round to progress to the “next phase” of the selection process which would involve each applicant submitting their full project proposals to the expert council for further assessment. Quotations from three of the expert panel members- Suzanne Hayden, Jürgen Storbeck, and Luis Moren Ocampo, were included in the press release. When describing PMI IMPACT, Ocampo said the following:
“a unique initiative: 100 million dollars from PMI distributed by an independent group of experts after reviewing hundreds of projects from public and private institutions. This is a cutting edge exercise of public-private partnership”.
Funding applications were judged by an expert panel, consisting of seven individuals with very close links to various UN agencies.
Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni
Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni previously held 22 UN positions, including Chair of the Drafting Committee of the Diplomatic Conference on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court in 1998. In 1973, he served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of State and Department of Justice on projects relating to the international traffic of drugs.
Catherine Volz served in the United Nations (UN) Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for over 18 years.
Suzanne Hayden worked as a PMI consultant on "law enforcement matters" and is the former Senior advisor to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA). She also established the UN’s first financial investigation unit. Hayden was also involved in an Anti-Contraband Tobacco Working Group meeting, partly-funded by Dawson Strategic, which is registered under the Senate Office of Public Records as a PMI lobbying firm.
Alain Julliet served as Intelligence Director for the French General Directorate for External Security (DGSE) of the French Ministry of Defence and later took the role of Senior Official in charge of economic intelligence to the Prime Minister’s office, holding this position until 2009. In 2009 he became President of the Académie de l’Intelligence Economique and in 2011, President of the Club des Directeurs de Sécurité des Entreprises (CDSE). From 2016, he worked with INTERPOL as chair to the International Forum of Security Technologies (FITS). INTERPOL have had past links with PMI.
Paul Makin served in the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and is a former Director of the UNIDO Regional Office in Egypt.
Luis Moreno Ocampo
Luis Moreno Ocampo was the first Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC) from 2003-2012 and he also served as Chairman of the World Bank Expert Panel on the Padma Bridge project. On 11 June 2015, he held a workshop for the Global Order Project on the Philip Morris vs. Uruguay lawsuit, though its content is unknown. 
Jurgen Storbeck is a former head of the Central Bureau of INTERPOL and was the first Director of Europol between 1999 & 2004. In 2016 he was a consultant for Governments and public authorities as well as private organizations, including PMI. He advises them on issues such as crime prevention and organised crime. 
UN Global Compact
In 2015, PMI released a ‘communication on progress’ for the UN Global Compact (UNGC) which outlined the launch of PMI IMPACT as a “catalyst for a more holistic approach against the illegal tobacco trade, corruption and organized crime”. The UNGC, which has been heavily criticised, describes itself as “the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative”. It outlined its aims of providing support to companies on how to do business responsibly and on how to “advance broader societal goals, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with an emphasis on collaboration and innovation”.
According to its website, the UNGC “help(s) companies to find entry points to partnering with the UN” and “works with a wide range of UN entities”. The UNCG is not accredited as an Observer to the Conference of Parties (CoP) for the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), and has multiple tobacco industry representatives, including British American Tobacco (BAT) and PMI.
Initiatives such as the UNGC work as entry doors, increasing the policy influence of associated companies upon the UN. They may also be used as public relations instruments for large companies who might benefit from a visible UN association. As a result of these concerns, the Transnational Resource & Action Center (TRAC) argue that the UNGC threatens the UN’s mission and integrity.
While the UNGC has its own logo separate from that of the UN (Image 2), there is still a potential reputational gain for companies who are involved with the initiative. Despite the UNGC having an individual logo, its Wikipedia page only displays the UN’s general emblem (Images 3 and 4) whereas both logos are displayed on the pages of other UN initiatives such as the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative (Image 5) and the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). Click on thumbnails to enlarge.
Image 2: UNGC Logo, taken from UN Global Compact Twitter account 13 October 2016
Image 3: The UN Flag & Emblem, as seen on UN Wikipedia page 13 October 2016
Image 4: The UN Emblem on UNGC Wikipedia page 13 October 2016
Image 5: The UN Emblem & SSE logo on SSE Wikipedia page 13 October 2016
- Philip Morris
- PMI’s “Illicit Trade” Anti-Plain Packaging Campaign
- PMI’s Lobbying Campaign to Undermine the TPD
- Tobacco Industry Attempts to Undermine the FCTC Illicit Trade Protocol (ITP)
- Tobacco Smuggling in the EU
- Tobacco Smuggling in the UK
- Influencing Science: Commissioning Research and Reviews
- Influencing Science: Funding Scientists
- Tobacco Industry Research Committee
- Unscrupulous methods used by the tobacco industry revealed over the illicit trade, K.A. Evans-Reeves, A. Rowell, 2015, The Conversation
- Tobacco industry rallies against illicit trade – but have we forgotten its complicity?, K.A. Evans-Reeves, A. Rowell, 2015, The Conversation
- PMI, PMI IMPACT, accessed June 2016
- PMI, Explore: Funding Theme, accessed June 2016
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- M. Bassiouni,, Biography, accessed June 2016
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- FITS , La lettre du président Alain Juillet, accessed June 2016
- L. Joossens, A. Gilmore, The transnational tobacco companies’ strategy to promote Codentify, their inadequate tracking and tracing standard, Tobacco Control, 2013, 23, e3-e6
- L. Moreno Ocampo, A. Eibelshäuser, Workshop on the Investment Dispute between Philip Morris and Uruguay, Global Order Project website, accessed June 2016
- PMI, PMI UNGC Communication on Progress, 2015, accessed October 2016
- UNGC, UNGC: Who We Are, 2016, accessed October 2016
- UNGC, UNGC: Our Mission, 2016, accessed October 2016
- UNGC, UNGC: The UN Global Compact and the United Nations, 2016, accessed October 2016
- S. Bialous Article 5.3. and International Tobacco Industry Interference: Report commissioned by the Convention Secretariat, WHO FCTC, Corporate Accountability International, 2015, accessed October 2016
- Global Policy Forum Europe, Whose partnership for whose development? Corporate accountability in the UN system beyond the Global Compact 2007, accessed October 2016
- Sourcewatch, United Nations Global Compact, 2013, accessed October 2016
- TRAC-transnational Resource & Action Center Tangled Up in Blue: Corporate Partnerships at the United Nations, 2000, accessed October 2016