January 21, 2010
Monique Perry Danziger, +1 202 293 0740 ext. 222
Clark Gascoigne, +1 202 293 0740 ext. 222
WASHINGTON, DC – Global Financial Integrity (GFI) launched its “G20 Transparency” campaign today, an international grassroots sign-on drive to collect 100,000 signatures on a petition calling for greater transparency in the global financial system. The petition will be delivered to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper prior to the G20 meeting in Toronto at the end of June.
The campaign kicked off with the debut of www.G20transparency.com, a Web site devoted to the campaign where supporters may read and sign the petition, which will be available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish. The Web site will also allow supporters to share the petition with others via peer-to-peer and social networking tools.
The petition states:
Research shows that each year $1 trillion in illicit money flows out of developing countries – roughly ten times the amount of official aid money that is received. The World Bank and others have cited these estimates repeatedly. Illicit money flows are facilitated by an opaque financial system comprised of tax havens and secrecy jurisdictions. Illicit capital outflows greatly exacerbate poverty and lead to the deaths of millions of people. Illicit financial flows constitute a human rights problem of huge proportions.
The world’s largest economies – the G20 nations – will meet in Toronto on June 26-27, 2010. They have an unprecedented opportunity to institute changes that will create a transparent global financial system that is open, accountable, fair and beneficial for all.
“We intend to send a clear and resounding message that the world wants G20 leadership to recognize that human rights and international financial integrity are intimately linked,” said GFI director Raymond Baker. “Where poverty is pervasive, civil, political, and economic rights often go unrealized. Today, large outflows of illicit money – many times larger than all development assistance – greatly aggravate poverty and oppression in many developing countries.”