2017 Helsinki – Transparency’s Tipping Point: The 7th Financial Transparency Conference

Marina Conference Center, Helsinki, Finland

October 24 - 25, 2017


From the halls of the United Nations and G20 Summits to the streets of cities across the world, illicit financial flows are becoming a hotly debated topic. High profile leaks like the Panama Papers have drawn the public’s attention to the extreme secrecy available for the right price. When trillions of dollars flow through a shadow financial system beyond public scrutiny, citizens of rich and poor countries both lose. Northern governments under pressure to stop illicit financial flows have been outspoken in communiqués and press releases, but 3 of the top 5 secrecy jurisdictions still lie in Europe and the U.S. This, coupled with a number of recent backslides on financial transparency, makes a concerted push all the more timely.

The 7th Financial Transparency Conference brought together civil society, government officials, journalists and policy experts to discuss the problem of illicit financial flows, while brainstorming new ways to combat its effects on growth and development in our respective countries. Through a variety of debates, we advanced discussions on issues like financing for development, the role of gatekeepers to the financial sector, bringing transparency to company ownership and public reporting for multinational corporations.

Download a ZIP file of all conference presentations here.

View photos from the week here.

View the outcome document from Allied Organizations of the Global South meeting, facilitated by the FTC prior to the conference here.

View the conference report here.



Conference Agenda

Tuesday, 24 October

8:15 – 9:00        Registration

9:00 – 9:30       Welcoming Remarks from the Financial Transparency Coalition and Kepa

 Keynote Address  from Kai Mykkänen, Finnish Minister of Foreign Trade and Development

9:30 – 11:00     Plenary Session – What exactly is an illicit financial flow? The crucial role of data and politics play in reducing illicit financial flows and reaching sustainable development goals           


Dereje Alemayehu, Chair, Global Alliance for Tax Justice
Peter Chowla, Economic Affairs Officer, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
Towfiqul Islam Khan, Research Fellow, Centre for Policy Dialogue
Maya Forstater, Visiting Fellow, Center for Global Development
Savior Mwambwa, Interim Director, Financial Transparency Coalition

11:00 – 11:30    Coffee/Tea Break

11:30 – 13:00     Breakout Sessions I

Extracting the truth –​ ​how data is used in the extractive industries, and why more transparency is still needed


Lyydia Kilpi, Policy Advisor Tax Justice and Corporate Responsibility, Kepa
Dominic Eagleton, Senior Campaigner, Global Witnesses
Stephen Abbott Pugh, Project Manager, Open Data for Tax Justice at Open Knowledge International
Kaisa Toroskainen, Research and Data Officer, Natural Resource Governance Institute
Lauri Finér, Tax Policy Advisor to the Social Democratic Party

Who are the gatekeepers of the global financial system? The Panama Papers highlighted the key role of lawyers, accountants, bankers and corporate service providers


Max Haywood, Programme Coordinator, Transparency International
François Godbout, Programme Officer, Pan African Lawyers Union
Khadija Sharif, Investigative Journalist/ Researcher and Africa Editor, Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project
Duncan Hames, Director of Policy, Transparency International UK
Sonja Vartiala, Executive Director, Finnwatch

 13:00 – 14:30     Lunch

14:30 – 16:00     Plenary Session – Building an inclusive narrative on illicit flows: Seeing gender equality and human rights as integral to tackling illicit cash


Kathleen Lahey , Professor at the Faculty of Law, Queen’s University
Betsy Apple, Advocacy Director, Open Society Justice Initiative
Mae Buenaventura, Deputy Coordinator, Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development
Matti Kohonen, Principal Adviser – Private Sector, Christian Aid
Ignacio Saiz, Executive Director, Center for Economic and Social Rights

16:00 – 17:30     Side Meetings with Coffee/Tea Available

Side Event with Fair Tax Finland: Developing a Fair Tax Mark for Local Authorities and Private Corporations

18:00 – 20:00    Welcome Reception at Ravintola Sipuli

Ravintola Sipuli is located at Kanavaranta 7, a short walk from the conference venue

Wednesday, 25 October

8:30 – 9:00           Registration

9:00 – 10:30        Plenary Session – What’s the state of progress on Beneficial Ownership Transparency globally?


Heather Lowe, Legal Counsel and Director of Government Affairs, Global Financial Integrity
Madeleine McCarroll, Governance and Transparency Manager, The B Team
Jason Rosario Braganza, Deputy Director, Tax Justice Network Africa
Juan Argibay, Coordinator for Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, PROCELAC
Hera Hussain, Senior Advocacy Manager, Open Contracting Partnership

10:30 – 11:00     Coffee/Tea Break

11:00 – 12:30     Breakout Sessions II

Building Influence and Creating Change: turning a global conversation into local action


Eric LeCompte, Executive Director, Jubilee USA Network
Jane Nalunga, Country Director, SEATINI Uganda
Thomas Wallgren, Co-Chair, Fair Tax Finland
Christiane Schuppert, Senior Advisor – Combatting Illicit Financial Flows, GIZ
Ming Zhuang, Director, Participation Center China
Gary Kalman, Executive Director, The FACT Coalition

Financing Social Protection in Developing Countries: the challenge of eliminating illicit financial flows


Esteban Serrani, Senior Analyst, Fundación SES
Tetteh Hormeku, Head of Programmes, Third World Network Africa
Nelly Busingye, Program Officer, SEATINI -Uganda
Niabdulghafar Tohming (Hamdee), Program Officer, Focus on the Global South
Jason Rosario Braganza, Deputy Director, Tax Justice Network Africa

12:30 – 14:00     Lunch

14:00 – 15:30     Who makes the Rules on Illicit Financial Flows?


Frankie Mbuyamba, Research Manager, African Tax Administrators Forum
Manuel Montes, Senior Advisor, Finance and Development at the South Centre
Everline Aketch, National Union of Educational Institutions and Public Services International
Katiuska King, Former Minister Coordinator of Economic Policy of Ecuador
Pooja Rangaprasad, Policy Coordinator, Financial Transparency Coalition

15:30 – 16:00     Closing Reflections

16:00                     Side Meetings with Coffee/Tea Available

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