(Thursday, 12 May 2016) - At the UK's Anti-Corruption Summit today, Cayman Islands Premier, the Hon. Alden McLaughlin, called for standards that are 'truly global' and inclusive of countries that have significant political clout.
'In order to be successful, and to seriously tackle corruption and not just pay lip service to it, we in this room and beyond must be committed to creating a standard that is truly global', he said. 'It is time to put behind us the shades of hypocrisy which are part and parcel, and have been part and parcel, of the global discussion of this issue for years and years.
'If those countries with real political clout on the world stage continue to focus only on jurisdictions that are smaller in size, while ignoring obvious jurisdictions which ought to be part of the conversation, the result will be continued failure'.
Premier McLaughlin was one of small number of persons who was invited to speak by summit organisers. Hosted by UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who also chaired a number of sessions, the event brought together representatives of more than 40 countries, who represented politics, civil society, business and sports.
Accompanying the Premier to the summit was the Minister for Financial Services, Wayne Panton. Also in attendance were US Secretary of State John Kerry; IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde; President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari; President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani; President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos; and Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg.
'My presence here, along with the Minister for Financial Services, is clear evidence of our willingness to engage and to help shape global standards in this fight', Premier McLaughlin said. 'But this is not new; not new for us at all. For over 20 years we have shown our leadership role in this fight'.
- Cayman's commitment, officially announced on 11 May, to join the initiative for the development of a global standard for the sharing of beneficial ownership information;
- the 11 April announcement of the signing with the UK of an Exchange of Notes and a Technical Protocol to enhance the sharing of beneficial ownership information between relevant authorities;
- Cayman's invitation to jurisdictions that are participating in the initiative for the exchange of beneficial ownership information to enter agreements with Cayman that are similar to the Exchange of Notes that currently is in place between Cayman and the UK;
- 36 tax information exchange agreements;
- the Multilateral Convention, which allows tax exchange with over 90 countries;
- automatic exchange via the EU savings Directive, US FATCA & UK FATCA; and the OECD's Common Reporting Standard;
- the extension of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention in 2010; and
Cayman's expectation of the extension by the UK of the UN Convention against Corruption, which it requested in 2013 and for which Cayman already has been assessed as meeting the criteria.
'Because of these efforts, our credentials in the fight against corruption cannot be seriously challenged', the Premier said. 'I believe we've earned our seat at the table to be part of the development of any new global standard'.
Premier McLaughlin's remarks on YouTube:
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(From left) Chief Minister of Jersey Ian Gorst; Chief Minister of the Isle of Man Allan Bell; Chief Minister of Gibraltar Fabian Picardo; Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance of Bermuda Bob Richards; and Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin at the Anti-Corruption Summit in London on Thursday, 12 May 2016.
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