Transparency International, two Nobel Laureates and 22 leaders of civil society representing every continent publish open letter to G20 leaders
An open letter
published today to the leaders of the Group of 20 biggest economies, five days before the leaders’ summit in Brisbane, Australia, calls for concrete actions to stop corruption and make the global system more transparent.
“Lest we forget: the primary victims of organised crime, corruption, and tax evasion or avoidance are the poorest citizens of the world.”
The signatories include Nobelists Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Tawakkol Karman plus the heads of the Africa Progress Panel, Amnesty International, Care International, Christian Aid, Global Witness, Oxfam, The One Campaign, Tear Fund, Transparency International and World Vision*.
The letter calls on G20 leaders to take concrete steps to stop the more than one trillion dollars of illicit money that is siphoned off each year that could be used to alleviate poverty and better the lives of millions.
The G20 must:
- Outlaw secret company ownership and mandate public registries of the identities of the real, living people (beneficial owners) who ultimately own and control companies and other legal entities to make it easier to track the origin of corrupt or illicit funds.
- Ensure multinational corporations publish information on a country-by-country basis on revenue, profits and taxes paid so that citizens can scrutinise where money is earned and where it may be going missing.
This coming together of anti-corruption activists, humanitarian organisations and individuals recognised for the ethical and moral authority, organised by Transparency International, is to show world leaders that there is a common belief across continents and constituencies that specific actions can limit corruption and illegal activities if governments make them a priority.
“When a global financial system allows billions of dollars of corrupt or stolen money to flow unchecked around the globe, something is wrong. When financial secrecy helps strip Africa of $50 billion each year, something is wrong. When the poor of this world see the wealth of their countries slip beyond their borders, something must be done.”
In the push to deliver growth in the global economy, the signatories are reminding the world leaders that they must put people at the centre of decision-making for sustainable and inclusive development.
The initiative coincides with a social media campaign, organised by Transparency International, to send more than two million tweets to the G20 leaders for its Unmask the Corrupt Campaign. The campaign’s three goals are to introduce global beneficial ownership regulations with public registries, use visa denials to punish the corrupt, and make those who sell luxury goods ensure the corrupt don’t profit from the proceeds of corruption.
*This is the full list, in alphabetical order of signatories:
Raymond W. Baker, President, Global Financial Integrity, Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International, John Christensen, Director, Tax Justice Network, Rev. Tim Costello, CEO, World Vision Australia and Chair of the Civil 20 (C20), Jamie Drummond, co-founder, The ONE Campaign, Joel Edwards, International Director, Micah Challenge, Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC, Chancellor, Australian National University, Matthew Frost, Chief Executive, Tearfund, John Githongo, CEO Inuka Kenya Nisisi Ltd, former Permanent Secretary, Governance and Ethics, Office of the President of Kenya, Robert Glasser, Secretary General, CARE International, Richard Goldstone, Retired Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, Manzoor Hasan, Chair, UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) Coalition, Gavin Hayman, Executive Director, Global Witness, Tawakkol Karman, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate & Founder, Women Journalists Without Chains, Daniel Kaufmann, president of the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), Caroline Kende-Robb, Executive Director, Africa Progress Panel, Akaash Maharaj, Executive Director, Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption, Loretta Minghella, Chief Executive, Christian Aid, Alvin Mosioma, Chair, Financial Transparency Coalition, Archbishop Njongo Ndungane, President and Founder, African Monitor, Salil Shetty, Secretary General, Amnesty International, Oriana Suárez, Latin American Network on Debt, Development and Rights, Cobus de Swardt, Managing Director, Transparency International, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 1984 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former Archbishop of Cape Town, Jasmine Whitbread, CEO, Save the Children
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