Global Financial Integrity

 

G20 Must End Tax Haven Secrecy, Campaigners Tell Sarkozy

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Monique Perry Danziger, +1 202 293 0740 ext. 222

WASHINGTON, DC –  A new global campaign challenging French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the G20 to make a firm commitment to ending tax haven secrecy launched today at the World Social Forum in Dakar. Organizations involved include ActionAid, Christian Aid, Eurodad, Global Financial Integrity, Oxfam International and the Tax Justice Network.

The campaign will bring together international civil society organizations and feature an interactive platform for people around the world to make their voices heard. This will include an option to email President Sarkozy, who is this year’s G20 host, as well as other G20 leaders.

“The G20 must take action when it meets in Cannes, France to end tax haven secrecy,” said Global Financial Integrity director Raymond Baker. “Secrecy jurisdictions provide a safe haven for the ill gotten gains of kleptocrats and criminals. It is time the world’s largest and most powerful economies make a concerted effort to tackle the problem of tax havens.”

End Tax Haven Secrecy

Tax dodging by some unscrupulous companies operating internationally costs developing countries more than they receive in aid. Global Financial Integrity recently released “Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2000-2009,” where it estimates that developing countries lost $1.23 trillion in 2008, alone to crime, corruption and tax evasion. GFI estimates that these illicit outflows are ten times the amount of Official Development Assistance.

Chris Jordan, Tax Justice Campaigner at ActionAid, said: ‘Removing the secrecy havens offer would make tax dodging dramatically more difficult and enable governments in poorer countries to determine just how much they are losing by way of tax revenues, and take the appropriate action.’

The full list of organizations involved in the campaign is: Christian Aid (UK), Tax Justice Network Africa, Tax Justice Network (UK), Global Financial Integrity (US), Intermon (Spain), Inspiraction (Spain), Action Aid, Oxfam International, CCFD Terre Solidaire (France), CRBM (Italy) and Eurodad (a coalition of European organizations).

American citizens/residents can send an email to U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, by visiting the GFI website or by clicking here.  Non-U.S. citizens/residents are encourage to send letters via the coalition’s international website located at www.endtaxhavensecrecy.org or by visiting the website of a coalition member based in your country.

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Notes to Editors:

For information on Global Financial Integrity’s illicit financial flows report or for an interview, contact Monique Danziger at +1-202-904-3113. To interview Christian Aid tax justice campaigners at the World Social Forum in Dakar, or in London, and for more information, please contact Rachel Baird on +44 0207 523 2446, +44 07545 501749 or rbaird@nullchristian-aid.org.