Global Financial Integrity

 

GFI Lauds UN Development Panel for Prioritizing the Curtailment of Illicit Financial Flows

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Clark Gascoigne, +1 202 293 0740 ext. 222

UN High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda Makes Reducing Illicit Financial Flows and Tax Evasion an Explicit Anti-Poverty Goal

GFI Calls on G8 Leaders to Now Take Action at Northern Ireland Summit

WASHINGTON, DC – Global Financial Integrity (GFI) today praised the United Nations High-Level Panel (HLP) of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda for making the curtailment of illicit financial flows and tax evasion an explicit goal of the global anti-poverty agenda following the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals in 2015.  The report from the HLP, published late last week, follows the release of a new joint study by GFI and the African Development Bank which found illicit financial outflows drained roughly $1.3 trillion from Africa over the past thirty years, making the continent a net creditor to the rest of the world of up to $1.4 trillion.

“This is a big development and a major advancement for the world’s poor,” said GFI President Raymond Baker. “In making the curtailment of illicit financial flows a priority, the High Level Panel is truly confronting one of the major, underlying causes of extreme poverty.”

“Tax haven secrecy drained developing countries of US$859 billion in illicit financial outflows in 2010, ten times more than the US$88 billion1 they received in official development assistance,” continued Mr. Baker. “This is an astronomically large amount of money. We’re talking about nearly US$1 trillion that could have been used to invest in healthcare, education, and infrastructure in the world’s poorest countries. It’s nearly a US$1 trillion dollars that could have been used to pull people out of poverty and save lives.”

The new report from the HLP panel raises pressure on G8 leaders, meeting in Northern Ireland later this month, to take meaningful action to address illicit financial flows and tax evasion.

“The G8 has the opportunity to meaningfully address the problem of illicit financial flows,” noted Baker. “Prime Minister David Cameron has placed the topic on the agenda of the leader’s summit later this month.  World leaders should seize the moment to ban anonymous shell companies, by creating public registries of beneficial ownership information.  They should embrace the multilateral automatic exchange of tax information as the new global norm, expanding the current European pilot program to developing and emerging economies.  And they require all multinational corporations to report their profits, sales, taxes-paid, and employee information on a country-by-country basis to shine a light on the harmful profit-shifting practices that deprive rich and poor countries of hundreds of billions of dollars in lost tax revenue every year.”

GFI President Raymond Baker, GFI Managing Director Tom Cardamone, and GFI Legal Counsel and Director of Government Affairs Heather Lowe spelled out their policy recommendations for the G8 Summit in a letter to UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne last month.

The G8 leaders’ summit is scheduled to take place June 17-18, 2013 at Lough Erne in Northern Ireland.

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Footnotes

  1. According to the OECD, total official development assistance (ODA) into all countries in 2010 was $127 billion.  However, GFI’s estimates of illicit financial outflows apply only to the 150 countries classified as developing or emerging by the IMF for which there is data.  Those 150 countries only received $88 billion in ODA.

Notes to Editors:

  • Click here [PDF] to read the full report from the UN High Level Panel (HLP) on the Post-2015 Development Agenda released May 30, 2013.
  • For more on the UN High-Level Panel (HLP) on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, visit their website here.
  • Click here [PDF | 589Kb] to download GFI’s May 1, 2013 letter to UK Chancellor George Osborne regarding the G8.
  • Click here to read more about the new joint report—published Wednesday May 29, 2013—by GFI and the African Development Bank estimating illicit financial outflows and net resource transfers from Africa.
  • Click here to read GFI’s latest global report from December 2012 estimating the outflow of illicit financial flows from developing countries.
  • Click here for more information on the multilateral automatic exchange of tax information between 10 European nations.

Contact:

Clark Gascoigne
cgascoigne@nullgfintegrity.org
+1 202-293-0740 ext.222

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Global Financial Integrity (GFI) is a Washington, DC-based research and advocacy organization which promotes transparency in the international financial system as a means to global development.

For additional information please visit www.gfintegrity.org.

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