While the situation in Syria will inevitably dominate the G20 Summit meeting over the next two days in St Petersburg, the leaders of the world’s leading economies are being urged not to forget other items on the agenda, including important decisions to improve financial transparency.
Building on work done by finance ministers over the last year, the G20 is set to push forward on efforts to curb tax evasion by multinationals, which use devices like tax havens, shell companies and profit shifting (BEPS) to minimize their tax bill.
EXPOSED, the international coalition of Christian organisations which is challenging the global Church, business and governments to highlight the impact of corruption on the poorest of the poor, wants the G20 not to be entirely distracted from important fiscal decision making.
Amanda Jackson, who heads up campaigning work for Micah Challenge International, one of the EXPOSED partners, says of the G20 meeting, “There is a risk that Syria will push aside all other issues but in the back room we hope that steps will be taken to stop the theft of billions from poor nations which desperately need income for basic services.”
G20 Finance Ministers said on 20th July this year that “Ensuring that all taxpayers pay their fair share of taxes is a high priority in the context of fiscal sustainability, promoting growth, and the needs of developing countries to build capacity for financing development.” They said that taxes should be paid in the country where the profits are earned and “where value is created”.
Joel Edwards, International Co-ordinator of EXPOSED and Director of Micah Challenge says, “Citizens in developing countries suffer most from the failings of the current international tax system; their governments are robbed of revenue which could reduce their need for foreign aid. Corruption is not an inconvenience for the poor - corruption kills!”
The call to the G20 comes as EXPOSED starts to countdown to its main Week of Action from October 14-20. Across the globe during that week there will be a series of events including thousands of vigils to highlight the issue of corruption and its effects on the poorest of the poor. Corruption is one of the leading causes of poverty across the world.
The Week of Action will also be an opportunity for EXPOSED and its partners to highlight the Global Call to End Corruption which will be handed to the leaders of the world’s major economies, the G20, in November 2014. EXPOSED is aiming for one million signatures on this international petition to press for more open tax regimes and greater transparency in payments to combat bribery and tax avoidance.
“From October 14 – 20 we want the world to wake up to the fact that if it were not for corruption – bribery, tax evasion, secret business deals and more – the poor would not be kept in poverty. And what better to place to start with this message than with the G20?” says Joel Edwards.
Since the EXPOSED campaign was launched last year, across the world thousands of people have become involved, highlighting the need for corruption to end – in government, business and even in the church. Over the period of the campaign, EXPOSED is hoping to reach 100million people to consider practical and positive ways to resist corruption in their communities, including their churches, and to promote increased integrity and ethics in business.
The aim is for 2000 vigils with the poor across the globe during the week of October 14-20. This is an opportunity for people to take a stand with others, many of whom are taking great risks to resist corruption. These events will include prayer and action around public services that fail to deliver to the poorest and many of the events will be organised by churches, house groups, communities and businesses.
Vigils are already planned for St Paul’s Cathedral in London on Monday October 14 starting at 6pm, in Washington DC, Moldova, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Jaipur in India and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. If you are organizing a Vigil there are resources available and once you have all your arrangements in place please register your Vigil on www.exposed2013.com/globalvigil
To add your voice to the Global Call to End Corruption, and to become ‘One in a Million’, you can sign the petition at www.exposed2013.com. Resources are also available on this website.
NOTES TO EDITORS
For interviews on this subject please contact:
Amanda Jackson, Head of HEAD of POLICY and CAMPAIGNS, MICAH CHALLENGE INTERNATIONAL - [email protected] Tel: +44 (0)7545 351956
Joel Edwards, International Co-ordinator, EXPOSED – [email protected] Tel: +44 (0)20 7367 6571
Or contact - Cathy Le Feuvre, Media Consultant [email protected] Tel: +44 (0)7889 321 638
EXPOSED is a coalition of Christian Organisations that aims to challenge the global Church, business and governments to highlight the impact of corruption on the poorest of the poor. The coalition includes:
Steering Group - American Bible Society, USA; Association for a more Just Society (AJS), Honduras; British and Foreign Bible Society, UK; Evangelical Association of the Caribbean; Heads of Denominations, Zimbabwe; Micah Challenge International; The Salvation Army International Social Justice Commission; Unashamedly Ethical; World Evangelical Alliance; 24-7 Prayer, South Africa
Other partners include - Advocates International; ALARM; ANAJURE, Brazil; CANOPI, Malaysia; Digni, Norway; Europartners; Evangelical Alliance UK; Intercessory Prayer Ministry Intl; Micah Network; Paz y Esperanza, Peru; The Leprosy Mission
For more information about EXPOSED, and to sign the Global Call to End Corruption go to www.exposed2013.com