Key points from the G8 summit in Northern Ireland
Following are key declarations from the leaders' statement following the G8 summit in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, which ended on Tuesday:
-- On Syria
We remain committed to achieving a political solution to the crisis based on a vision for a united, inclusive and democratic Syria. We strongly endorse the decision to hold as soon as possible the Geneva Conference on Syria to implement fully the Geneva Communique of 30 June 2012, which sets out a number of key steps beginning with agreement on a transitional governing body with full executive powers, formed by mutual consent.
We are deeply concerned by the growing threat from terrorism and extremism in Syria, and also by the increasingly sectarian nature of the conflict.
We call on the Syrian authorities and opposition at the Geneva Conference jointly to commit to destroying and expelling from Syria all organisations and individuals affiliated to Al-Qaeda, and any other non-state actors linked to terrorism.
-- On tax evasion and avoidance
We commit to establish the automatic exchange of information between tax authorities as the new global standard, and will work with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to develop rapidly a multilateral model which will make it easier for governments to find and punish tax evaders.
We will work to create a common template for multinationals to report to tax authorities where they make their profits and pay their taxes across the world. We will support developing countries to collect the taxes owed them, with access to the global tax information they need.
-- On corporate transparency
A lack of knowledge about who ultimately controls, owns and profits from companies and legal arrangements, including trusts, not only assists those who seek to evade tax, but also those who seek to launder the proceeds of crime, often across borders... We will make a concerted and collective effort to tackle this issue and improve the transparency of companies and legal arrangements.
-- On trade
We will break down barriers to trade at home and abroad by resisting protectionism and concluding a set of ambitious trade deals. In particular, we welcome the launch of negotiations for an EU-US trade agreement, the major progress towards agreeing the Trans Pacific Partnership and the launch of the EU-Japan trade agreement negotiations and we look forward to the completion of the EU-Canada trade agreement. We aim to finalise all these deals as soon as possible.
-- On the paying of ransoms for hostages
We are committed to protecting our nationals and reducing terrorist groups' access to funding which allows them to thrive. We unequivocally reject the payment of ransoms to terrorists and we call on countries and companies around the world to follow our lead and stamp out this as well as other lucrative sources of income for terrorists.
© 2013 AFP