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Financial Transparency Coalition Meets in Africa on Problem of Illicit Financial Flows September 30th, 2013
The new Financial Transparency Coalition is meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on October 1-2. The theme for the conference, is “Towards Transparency: Making the Global Financial System Work for Development.” Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI, US JPIC Office Director, is officially representing ICCR (Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility) at the conference.
Nearly a trillion dollars a year has been secreted out of developing countries, robbing them of revenue needed desperately for development. The coalition was formed to do something about this problem that is central to the development of poor countries. According to the Coalition, half of the illicit financial flows – a staggering $500 billion – is coming from Africa. Flowing from crime, corruption, and tax evasion, these illicit transfers represent a drain on developing economies that is equivalent to eight times the size of global foreign aid.
The US JPIC Office is involved in several inter-connected organizations in Washington, DC, working for greater financial justice and transparency. These include the Tax Justice Network USA, (where Fr. Finn serves on the Board), and the FACT coalition (Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Campaign). The international Financial Transparency Coalition was launched in May of 2013, in response to the growing awareness and activism around the problem of illicit financial flows.
Oblate Bishop in Zambia Threatened for Speaking on Behalf of Poor People September 17th, 2010
Missionary Oblate Bishop Paul Duffy of Mongu Diocese in Western Province of Zambia is being threatened by the ruling government over his support for and speaking on behalf of poor people. Bishop Duffy issued a statement in which he said the people of Western Province think it is time for change. His statement has elicited a strong response from the ruling party, with a section of the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) threatening to beat him up. Bishop Duffy has questioned the governments’ motive in borrowing huge sums of money which does not visibly translate to development in the country and in particular the Western Province of Zambia.
On September 16, all priests and catholic groups in Mongu diocese released a statement of support of Bishop Duffy OMI in which they added that the people of Western Province are tired of being referred to as the poorest province in Zambia.
In a statement of support to Bishop Duffy, Zambian Oblates of Mary Immaculate delegation said the verbal attacks by government ministers on Bishop Duffy were unwarranted. Father Singini Nacidze OMI, information director for the Oblates released this statement which was signed by Fr. Freeborn Kibombwe the acting local superior: “OUTSPOKEN OBLATE BISHOP PAUL DUFFY, OMI THREATENED” (Download PDF)
The Oblates in Zambia have also issued a Press Release with information about Bishop Duffy who has served in Zambia for 26 years. The statement calls for civility, decency, humility and responsibility in all sectors of Zambian society regardless of political party. (Download PDF)
Protest the Attack on Bangladeshi Indigenous Peoples’ Advocate and Oblate Friend: Sanjeeb Drong January 24th, 2010
Mr Sanjeeb Drong, an important advocate for human rights and indigenous peoples in Bangladesh and SE Asia, and good friend of the Oblates, was brutally attacked last Friday by a group of hired thugs. He and his wife were travelling home from a meeting with the Bishop and a Diocesan Committee. Sanjeeb fled from his attackers and was rescued by the Bishop and several priests who then took him to a hospital. He is now safe in Dhaka. His wife was unharmed.
Zambia: Oblate Bishop Paul Duffy Attacked for Speaking on Behalf of the Poor January 21st, 2010
Oblate Bishop Paul Duffy of Mongu diocese, who has been doing missionary work for the last 25 years in Zambia’s Western Province, called on the Government of Zambia to help the poor by fulfilling a campaign promise to rebuild the main road and provide more economic opportunities for local people.
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African Synod calls for Accountability in Politics and Resource Extraction October 28th, 2009
After a three-week Vatican meeting, the Special Synod for Africa has ended. The Synod’s final message to the Church in Africa urges the people of Africa to work together for the continent’s political and economic future. The bishops delivered a strong message against corrupt Catholic political leaders in Africa, calling on them to repent or quit public office and stop ruining their countries.
The Bishops called for caution and transparency when accepting foreign aid, which often comes with a hidden agenda. The Bishops further added:” Whatever may be the responsibility of foreign interests, there is always the shameful and tragic collusion of the local leaders: politicians who betray and sell out their nations, dirty business people who collude with rapacious multi nationals, African arms dealers and traffickers who thrive on small arms that cause great havoc on human lives, and local agents of some international organizations who get paid for peddling toxic ideologies that they don’t believe in.”
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