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Leaders' Statement

Paul Polman



The Netherlands / The UK, Europe


Paul Polman is CEO of Unilever, a B Team Leader and chair of WBCSD as well as sitting on many boards for environmental and social development organisations. Under his leadership Unilever has an ambitious vision to decouple its growth from environmental footprint and increase its positive social impact.


We cannot achieve the SDGs without stemming tax evasion and corruption

Last year world leaders, with the support of business and civil society set ambitious goals for the world – a net zero emissions target and a set of sustainable development goals. Reaching the SDGs and transitioning our economies requires sustained investment in social services, environmental sustainability and equitable economic development. New and sustainable forms of public financing are needed alongside private investment.

We must make sure that public funds that could support sustainable development are not lost through corruption or tax evasion, such as that highlighted by the Panama Papers. Fair tax systems are supported by transparent company ownership and strong action against tax evasion. These issues are anything but abstract – they have a real impact on the lives of people who have a right to high quality education and health services, roads and other infrastructure.

Governments at the London International Anti-Corruption Summit need to make concrete commitments to take action against tax havens, to strengthen their own tax systems, and to both prevent corruption through measures such as beneficial ownership transparency, as well as invest heavily in enforcement so that those who steal from their citizens’ future do not get away with it.

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We are grateful to all the authors and contributing organisations within this Manifesto and to the partner organisations that helped to convene this landmark collection of anti-corruption statements from across a wide range of business and civil society leaders. The partners for the Leaders' Anti-Corruption Manifesto are The B Team, Thomson Reuters, the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption, the ONE campaign and the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council

This project is supported by a grant from the Omidyar Network.

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