IF@G8 live blog

Missed any entries from our live blog on day 1 of the summit? Catch up here.

 

Tuesday 18 June, 9.30am

It's day 2 here in Enniskillen at the G8 summit, and discussions between the world leaders today are due to focus on tax and transparency. We, and the people who wrote the 1.4million messages delivered to the Prime Minister yesterday, are looking to David Cameron and the G8 to deliver a tax deal and save millions from hunger.

We'll also be bringing you the latest posts and observations from our team of IF@G8 bloggers, who are here in Enniskillen to provide their commentary on events. Follow them on Twitter too, for the very latest:

 

Tuesday 18 June, 10.30am

Our flotilla of big 'G8 heads' in longships sailed into Lough Erne yesterday morning for the start of the G8 summit, to remind the real world leaders meeting nearby that they need to end tax dodging to help tackle global hunger. The event caused quite a stir, with pictures being broadcast all over the news channels. Watch our film of it below:

Huge thanks to everyone who helped out, especially all the volunteers doing the hard work rowing the boats!

 

Tuesday 18 June, 11.30am

In a new post on her blog, Rosebell Kagumire, one of our IF@G8 bloggers, asks Does G8 move on extractive industries mean anything for African countries? - "Whatever their driving interests, the efforts by G8 to improve the extractives industries and giving citizens of developing countries their right place to debate and participate in governance of their resources are long overdue".

 

Tuesday 18 June, 11.50am

Another of our bloggers in action at the G8 summit, Jack Monroe, this morning attended a briefing by two of the Prime Minister's tax advisors. Read more in Making Africa better for the G8, not for Africa - "following last night’s discussions on tax and transparency, two of the Prime Minister’s advisors avoided giving away details of the evening’s events, instead saying that they were 'in an active policy discussion space' around tax havens, tax avoidance and land transparency".

Meanwhile, Sarah Robinson has written a piece for the Huffington Post about what she's doing as an IF@G8 blogger in Enniskillen: My Journey to the G8.

 

Tuesday 18 June, 12.30pm

Following her attendance at a G8 summit briefing this morning, one of our IF@G8 bloggersSarah Robinson, looks at the issues of tax and transparency:

Just back from an interesting tax and transparency briefing with Gavin Hayman from Global Witness and Adrian Lovett from One.

Gavin talked about how anonymous 'shell' companies' actions can have a huge negative impact on developing countries.

One example he gave was how the Democratic Republic of Congo, just before recent elections, sold off five of its best copper and cobalt mines. They were sold to anonymous companies registered in the British Virgin Islands for up to 1/20th of their estimated market value. The BVI companies then re-sold the rights to the mines for a huge profit. The suggestion being that corrupt DRC leaders were lining their pockets before they lost power in the upcoming election.

The losses to the DRC from this particular deal are estimated to be $1.3 billion - twice the DRC health and education budget.

Gavin quoted Paul Collier [Co-Director, Centre for the Study of African Economies] as saying that shell companies are "getaway cars for global corruption".

So how does this link back to the IF campaign? 

Well, the IF campaign is calling on tax havens like the British Virgin Islands to commit to putting beneficial ownership information (i.e. who is the actual human being who controls/benefits from a company) in the public domain. 

Having this information freely available would make it much easier for citizens, journalists and civil society to hold companies (and their owners) to account for their actions; and much harder for corrupt individuals to hide behind phantom companies.

Now I'm no expert on transparency, but it makes sense to me that making this sort of information more widely available can only be a good thing.

The question is, will the G8 lead by example and commit to a move towards PUBLIC registers of beneficial ownership?

Sarah Robinson

 

Tuesday 18 June, 12.45pm

One of our IF@G8 bloggers team, Richard Murphy, has just had a post on tax and transparency published at Independent Voices, over on The Independent newspaper's site: "...whilst we have to be realistic that austerity might be the real reason why many politicians are now interested in this issue, it so happens that if this agenda works then developing countries will also benefit – because they will get control of their resources for the first time and so help beat poverty. That’s the message the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign is delivering at the Summit". Read Richard's post in full here.

 

Tuesday 18 June, 2.25pm

G8 leaders have signed the Lough Erne Declaration. Strong principles, but it's the details later today that will be what matters for poor countries.

Tuesday 18 June, 3.40pm

With the G8 summit coming to an end at Lough Erne, we've just published a statement on the tax agreement reached by world leaders during their two-day meeting, as well as a verdict on the UK's G8 Presidency overall - considering the progress that's been made on malnutritionUK tax havensland and agriculture.

Today’s G8 tax deal is a step in the right direction, but it also leaves major unfinished business.

Thanks to all of you who supported the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign, the public argument to end tax dodging has been won - but the political battle remains.

 

Tuesday 18 June, 5.00pm

Responding to questions from the press following his speech at the conclusion of the G8 summit, David Cameron commended the many charities and organisations behind the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign and said they should be proud of their work.

Rounding up some reports on today's global tax agreement at the G8 summit:

There have also been personal reactions to today's developments from two of our IF@G8 bloggers - read that latest posts by Jack Monroe and Richard Murphy.

 

Tuesday 18 June, 6.40pm

A fantastic photo gallery from Guardian Development showing some of the things that the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign got up to in the run-up to, and during, the G8 summit. Take a look!

Tuesday 18 June, 7.15pm

We've just published a summary of today's G8 tax agreement, which has also been emailed out to IF supporters: "Today’s deal is another move in the right direction. Your incredible support means we’ve taken a step forward for the 1 in 8 people living with hunger worldwide. That work will need to go on."

With the G8 leaders having departed and the media centre here at Lough Erne emptying, we're bringing an end to our IF@G8 live blog. Thanks for following developments with us over the past two days - and, above all, thanks for making such a massive noise about global hunger as part of the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign.