Joint statement on the fight against illicit financial flows, by OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría and Thabo Mbeki, Chair of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa

 

19/04/2016 - The issue of illicit financial flows (IFFS) is at the forefront of the international agenda. Both the OECD and the High Level Panel have focused attention on this problem and have identified ways in which to tackle it. In the wake of recent revelations in the media exposing the use of secrecy, shell companies, and offshore accounts for illegal activities, there is an urgent need for the international community to come together, as money-laundering, tax evasion and international bribery which form the bulk of IFFs, affect all countries.

 

 

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría and Thabo Mbeki 
OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría and Thabo Mbeki, Chair of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa
Photo: Herve Cortinat/OECD


While there has been significant progress in the past few years due to a global crackdown on opacity and secrecy in financial and tax matters, more needs to be done. The Governments of African countries and the rest of the world should come together and strengthen the efforts to foster even greater international cooperation to end the illegal practices which continue to harm all communities.


We resolve to ensure that African countries can fully benefit from the ongoing international efforts at improving tax transparency and call upon all African countries to join these efforts. We acknowledge the important role played by the work of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information in bringing about financial transparency in tax matters. We encourage all African countries to participate in this work on an equal footing, and to join almost 100 other jurisdictions in signing the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.


In addition, we recognise the importance for all countries to tackle Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) and welcome the opening up of the BEPS project to all interested countries.