Early Significant Tid-Bits from the Communiqué

September 25th, 2009

So far, these are the really significant pieces that I’ve pulled from the statement while skimming through it.

In the Preamble section:

22. To take new steps to increase access to food, fuel and finance among the world’s poorest while clamping down on illicit outflows. Steps to reduce the development gap can be a potent driver of global growth.

In the “A Framework for Strong, Sustainable, and Balanced Growth” section:

14. We call on our international accounting bodies to redouble their efforts to achieve a single set of high quality, global accounting standards within the context of their independent standard setting process, and complete their convergence project by June 2011. The International Accounting Standards Board’s (IASB) institutional framework should further enhance the involvement of various stakeholders.

15. Our commitment to fight non-cooperative jurisdictions (NCJs) has produced impressive results. We are committed to maintain the momentum in dealing with tax havens, money laundering, proceeds of corruption, terrorist financing, and prudential standards. We welcome the expansion of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information, including the participation of developing countries, and welcome the agreement to deliver an effective program of peer review. The main focus of the Forum’s work will be to improve tax transparency and exchange of information so that countries can fully enforce their tax laws to protect their tax base. We stand ready to use countermeasures against tax havens from March 2010. We welcome the progress made by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing and call upon the FATF to issue a public list of high risk jurisdictions by February 2010. We call on the FSB to report progress to address NCJs with regards to international cooperation and information exchange in November 2009 and to initiate a peer review process by February 2010.

And this one deals with illicit financial flows from the “Strengthening Support for the Most Vulnerable” section:

42. As we increase the flow of capital to developing countries, we also need to prevent its illicit outflow. We will work with the World Bank’s Stolen Assets Recovery (StAR) program to secure the return of stolen assets to developing countries, and support other efforts to stem illicit outflows. We ask the FATF to help detect and deter the proceeds of corruption by prioritizing work to strengthen standards on customer due diligence, beneficial ownership and transparency. We note the principles of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action and will work to increase the transparency of international aid flows by 2010. We call for the adoption and enforcement of laws against transnational bribery, such as the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, and the ratification by the G-20 of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the adoption during the third Conference of the Parties in Doha of an effective, transparent, and inclusive mechanism for the review of its implementation. We support voluntary participation in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which calls for regular public disclosure of payments by extractive industries to governments and reconciliation against recorded receipt of those funds by governments.

This is by far the most we’ve seen from the G8 or the G20 on our issues.  Very good to see we’re making progress.

Written by Clark Gascoigne

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