As G20 leaders gather in Brisbane this weekend, anti-poverty organisation The ONE Campaign is urging the men and women who hold global financial purse strings to focus on transparency and tackle the international corruption, money laundering and tax evasion that continue to deprive developing countries of more than a trillion dollars every year.
These are vital resources that could be spent on hospitals, roads, schools and strengthening health systems against devastating emergencies such as Ebola, as well as opening up economic opportunities that could lift millions out of poverty.
Friederike Röder, France Director at The ONE Campaign said:
“As leaders gather in Brisbane to discuss economic growth, top of their agenda should be the massive haemorrhaging of money from the world’s developing countries through illicit financial activity. The ONE Campaign estimates that more than a trillion dollars leave developing countries this way each year – money that if recovered and invested in essential services could save the lives of 3.6 million people each year.
“Simple low cost steps – transparency for the extractives industry and a public register of who owns companies – would call time on the corrupt who use financial secrecy to launder cash. This is a get out of jail card for criminals and those financing terrorism. We call on G20 leaders to close these loopholes urgently.”
Extreme poverty has been halved in 20 years, and could be virtually wiped out by 2030. But progress is at risk unless the world’s richest countries stop the Trillion Dollar Scandal. ONE is calling on the G20 to take action in four areas:
- Shine a Light on Phantom Firms: Make information public about who owns companies and trusts, to prevent anonymous shell companies and similar legal structures from being used to launder money and to conceal the identity of corrupt and criminal individuals and businesses;
- Publish What You Pay: Introduce robust payment disclosure laws to increase transparency in the oil, gas and mining sectors to prevent natural resources in poor countries from being stolen from the people living above them;
- Crack down on illegal tax evasion: Institute automatic exchange of tax information so that developing countries have the information they need to collect taxes they are due; and
- Open Data: Publish government data so that citizens can follow the money from resources to results and hold their governments to account for the delivery of essential services.
For more information and to contact spokespeople in the UK and Australia please contact Asha Tharoor in London on [email protected] or 07584 470644 and Annabel Hervieu in Brisbane on + 33 6 31 22 89 68 or [email protected]
Notes to Editors
- For more on the Trillion Dollar Scandal read the full report here.