Global Financial Integrity Launches 'G20 Transparency' Campaign Calling on World Leaders to Fight Poverty, Protect Human Rights

Jan 22, 2010, 11:57 ET from Global Financial Integrity

Global, grassroots petition drive seeks 100,000 signatures in six months

WASHINGTON, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 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, 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.

"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."

For more information go to or contact Clark Gascoigne at 202-293-0740 or .

GFI director Raymond Baker will be in Brasilia, Santiago, and San Paolo as part of a week of travel Monday the 25th through Wednesday 27th with availability to meet in person with journalists.  Mr. Baker is happy to answer questions about GFI's work on:  financial regulation with respect to tax havens and banking secrecy, and a new report due out this month from GFI on tax revenue lost from developing countries due to illicit financial practices.

To arrange an interview contact Monique Danziger at or at (+1-202-293-0740).

SOURCE Global Financial Integrity