Oxfam reaction to the G8 2013 Communique

Oxfam Big Heads, golfing in the UK, June 2013

In response to the G8 Communique, Oxfam Ireland’s Executive Director Jim Clarken said:

“The G8 has asked all the right questions but has been thin on answers. The writing is on the wall for tax dodgers and land grabbers and G8 leaders must up their game to tackle the scandal of global poverty and hunger which has gone on for too long.”

Tax

“The G8 has woken up and smelled the coffee but has failed to agree a tax deal that helps the poorest countries. Until this happens lives are on the line. This year has been a warning to tax dodgers that their days of ripping off rich and poor countries alike are numbered. But tax dodging is a dark stain that needs more than a quick wash, and the G8 must agree a plan to get the global tax system whiter than white this year.

“Poor people will be left behind in the race for tax reform unless the G8 seriously ups its game and goes beyond secret lists that cannot tackle secrecy.  With a gold standard on global automatic tax information exchange fast becoming a reality, we need more than warm words on how poor countries get a fair deal.”

Land

“Oxfam welcomes the bold move by the G8 to put land on the agenda for the first time. Commitments to improve transparency in land investments and establish partnerships with developing countries to advance land rights in line with UN-standards are a step in the right direction. The litmus test will be whether these efforts truly benefit vulnerable communities rather than open the door to more land grabbing.

“More ambition is needed beyond this Summit to complete unfinished business and ensure the G8 is taking action to prevent land grabs by companies based in or linked to G8 countries.

“G8 leaders must now work towards a truly ambitious global initiative on land by 2015 that gets the right people round the table to smash the wall of secrecy that leads to land grabs.”

Trade

“Unequal and exploitative free trade agreements and bilateral investment treaties, which prohibit the very policies developing countries need in order to fight poverty, put the prospect of a fairer world in jeopardy.

“A potential trade deal between the US and EU would do little to address unequal global trade and investment rules and could spell more trouble if it is used as a blueprint for further bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations.”

Syria

“Leaders at this G8 Summit have shown some unity by pledging their commitment to finding a political solution to the Syria crisis and making a strong call for greater humanitarian access to help the Syrian people. But there is still a mountain to climb. The international community must not let this momentum slip, or undermine it - the people of Syria cannot be left to suffer as the world argues over a solution to the conflict.

“It is essential that a timetable for the Geneva peace conference is put in place immediately. Full participation at the peace talks is needed from all sides of the conflict, as well as non-military representatives including the refugee community and women’s groups. The G8 leaders must act quickly to deliver the money they have pledged to help the eight million Syrians in need of aid.”

Contact information: 

Oxfam has English, Italian, German and French spokespeople available.

To arrange interviews in Lough Erne Media Center, call Elisa Bacciotti on 44(0)7825391453. Elisa can do interviews in English, French and Italian.

Download a PDF of Oxfam's reaction to the G8 Communique

Please also contact Lucy Brinicombe in Enniskillen +44(0)7786 110054 / lbrinicombe@oxfam.org.uk

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Read the G8 Lough Erne Declaration (gov.uk)

Oxfam's humanitarian response to the Syria Crisis

Why it's time to stop land grabs