Friday, January 08, 2010

TJN publishes the New Haven Declaration

The Tax Justice Network, in partnership with a number of other organisations, have published the New Haven Declaration, following a meeting which TJN officials attended at Yale University in early December last year.

This is an important new front opening up in the battle against international financial secrecy, bringing human rights more formally into the frame and involving a new partnership between humans rights and financial transparency advocacy groups.

New Haven Declaration On Human Rights and Financial Integrity
Human rights and international financial integrity are intimately linked. 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.

Illicit money leaves poorer countries through a global shadow financial system comprising tax havens, secrecy jurisdictions, disguised corporations, anonymous trust accounts, fake foundations, trade mispricing, and money-laundering techniques. Much of this money is permanently shifted into western economies.

Reducing these illicit outflows requires greater transparency and integrity in the global financial system. Achieving this is a prerequisite to creating an economic framework that is open, accountable, fair, and beneficial for all.

We call upon the United Nations, the G8, G20, WTO, IMF, World Bank, and other international fora, as well as on national governments, world leaders, faith groups and civil society organizations to recognize the linkage between human rights and financial transparency. We further call for decisive steps to ensure that developing countries can retain their resources for sustainable growth and poverty alleviation, which they must achieve if the human rights of all people are to be realized.

The undersigned individuals and organizations shall be working together in the coming months to pursue this agenda and look to add additional voices to this effort.

Amnesty International
Human Rights Watch
Global Financial Integrity
Center for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics
Open Society Institute Justice Initiative
Asia Initiatives
Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development
Tax Justice Network
Christian Aid
National Council of Churches
Harrington Investments, Inc.
AsociaciĆ³n Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia
Thomas Pogge, Yale University
Robert Hockett, Cornell University
Frank Pasquale, Seton Hall

Click here to read an editorial in the Huffington Post by Raymond Baker of Global Financial Integrity, Thomas Pogge of Yale University, and Arvind Ganesan of Human Rights Watch, introducing the New Haven Declaration.


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