Countries at global OGP meeting asked to take concrete steps to stop corruption
The Global Summit of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) started in the French capital, Paris, today December 7, 2016 and member countries have been called upon to commit to concrete measures to stop corruption.
In a statement, the civil society organization, known as ONE said it is important to stop corruption because it is holding back development in the world’s poorest countries.
ONE urges governments to establish public registers of beneficial owners of companies and trusts, plus the implementation of public country-by-country reporting for multinationals in every country in which they operate, noting that, these would put an end to secrecy and strengthen citizen participation so as to benefit those who need it most.
“Developing countries lose a trillion dollars every year due to money laundering, dodgy deals and illegal tax evasion. If these funds could stay in developing countries, some of this money could be taxed, and investing even a slice of these funds in basic health and education services could help fight poverty and preventable diseases,” Adrian Lovett, Interim CEO of ONE was quoted as saying.
“The Panama Papers showed us how shell companies are used to launder money on an industrial scale. Only full public transparency will allow citizens in developing countries to ensure anonymous shell companies are not used to launder away much-needed funds to fight extreme poverty.
“Right now there is a live law-making process in Europe – the renegotiation of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive – which could solve this problem. A step back on transparency would be very disappointing – especially as we will mark International Anti-Corruption Day on December 9. Any regression would maintain the status quo and hamper the efforts to fight corruption,” he added.
According to Lovett, this Summit is a unique opportunity for key countries negotiating in this process such as France, the UK, and Germany to show their commitment to stop this injustice.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi