Eric Speaks UN General Assembly


Yesterday at the United Nations General Assembly, Jubilee USA's Executive Director, Eric LeCompte addressed world leaders on climate driven weather events, tax havens, rising debt levels and combating global child poverty.

Now is the time we all must act.

You can read Eric’s entire remarks here, or watch his first opening UN General Assembly speech here or his concluding remarks to the morning UN General Assembly here. Watch the entire 3 hour UN General Assembly event here, to see world leaders, Presidents, Prime Ministers, Bill Gates, Eric and UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres discuss our Jubilee issues and efforts.

In his remarks, Eric lifts up debt relief to mitigate extreme weather events, responsible lending and borrowing, budget transparency, a global super bankruptcy process, anonymous shell corporations and tax havens, the Corporate Transparency Act, a global tax body, funding the Sustainable Development Goals and stopping the terrifying reality that 22,000 kids die every day because of poverty.

On behalf of all of us at Jubilee USA there are many people and groups that Eric and our team must thank.

We thank the past United Nations General Assembly President, Her Excellency María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés for asking Eric to speak as a main expert to the UN General Assembly.

We also thank Navid Hanif and the Financing for Sustainable Development Office, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Financing for Development, Stefano Prato and Pooja Rangaprasad from the Society for International Development and we thank the entire Civil Society Forum on Financing for Development.

Eric's remarks to the United Nations General Assembly were only possible because of the research and work of many including: the UN Conference on Trade and Development, the United Nations Development Programme, EURODAD, Jubilee Germany, the International Monetary Fund, the Business Commission, Forbes, UNICEF and UN DESA. We are grateful for the support from the US Government for Eric on our Jubilee UN and IMF efforts.



Kate Zeller
Campaigns Director

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Financing the Sustainable Development Goals and Climate Action Against Rising Debt Burdens and Financial Secrecy

The United Nations General Assembly High Level Dialogue on Financing for Development

United Nations
New York, New York

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA
September 26th, 2019
(Transcribed and prepared for distribution)


Opening Remarks:

Thank you. It’s an honor to be here with you today. Many of us have worked together and have known each other since we forged the Addis Ababa Agreement in 2015.

As we talk about the challenges of debt crisis it’s important to know that we are dealing with a new emerging debt crises, and developing countries and small island development states are some of the countries that are most at risk. In particular, in light of the reality that we struggle with more extreme weather events that are challenging poor countries from Mozambique to Antigua and Barbuda to Dominica - we must urgently solve these problems.

In the 2017 hurricane season, we saw Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda get devastated by hurricanes, and while they were devastated, they made payments on debt.

That money should have been used for recovery efforts, for disaster and relief efforts. We’re dealing with a serious moment where we need to look at how do you solve problems, both in terms of climate action and debt. Some of the proposals that we agreed on at Addis Ababa specifically addressed this.

Our strongest agreements at Addis Ababa were on debt.

Number one, it was the first international agreement to stop the predatory behavior of vulture funds, which takes advantage of poor indebted countries.

Number two, we agreed that we need to have stronger, improved debt restructuring processes in order to tackle debt. And number three, we highlighted the need for improving debt restructuring and resilience in small island development states.

Right now, we have active proposals to be able to deal with these particular challenges. These particular challenges are solvable. We made agreements on them. The UN General Assembly passed a road map on debt and part of the reason that we must solve it right now is, according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development, in the developing world, it is deterring fast into an extreme debt crisis and the International Monetary Fund notes that forty-seven percent of low-income countries, as of August of 2019, are either in debt crisis or at very high risk of debt crisis.


Closing Remarks:

Thank you very much. We’ve done it before we can do it again.

We have agreements that we have made that we need to move forwards and implement. Together working in this room, we have won more than $130 billion in debt relief because of the HIPC and MDRI initiatives that our countries all worked on together.

Because of those initiatives, we saw 54 million kids go to school in Africa who never would have seen the inside of a classroom. In 2015 again we came together during the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and we made solid agreements about dealing with debt crisis, stopping financial crisis, and raising revenue in the developing world. We must and we can implement these agreements.

Number one, this past week, for the first time in modern history, the only other time being in 1992, there were 6 named major storms in the Atlantic and the Pacific, storms that could become hurricanes. We’re dealing with more extreme weather events.

Over the last two years during the FFD process, we’ve talked about the need about debt relief in the face of natural disasters. We need to have debt relief and debt moratoriums in place when small island development states and Caribbean countries face disasters. It’s an imperative.

Number two, we need to implement the agreement from Addis Ababa on strengthening and legalizing responsible lending and borrowing. The developing world is losing hundreds of billions of dollars a year because of a lack of public budget transparency, because of a lack of responsible lending and borrowing.

Number three, we must implement the strengthening of debt restructuring that we agreed upon in Addis Ababa. We need to move forward a super bankruptcy process as the UN General Assembly already moved forward in 2014.

This week, Jubilee USA, AFRODAD, EURODAD, LATINDADD, 1500 organizations endorsed a bankruptcy process on the principles for neutrality, independence, transparency and expediency that are needed to resolve debt crisis.

And we know its possible because in 2016 the US Congress, Republican led passed a super bankruptcy process for Puerto Rico to deal with its 72 billion dollar debt, and although that process was not perfect, it was the first legislation in the United States to stop and combat vulture funds. We know how critical it is to move forward with this process if we’re serious about dealing with debt challenges.

And finally, we must deal with curbing revenue loss.

Countries around the world, wealthy countries, poor countries, developing countries, developed countries, are forced to borrow when they don’t have money in their banks.

And that’s what we’re seeing happening.

The International Monetary Fund just released a very powerful report highlighted by Forbes noting that 15 trillion dollars a year is lost in tax havens and anonymous shell corporations. What does that break down to? Well the UN Conference on Trade and Development says we can fund the entire sustainable development goals with 5 to 7 trillion dollars.

What does 15 trillion dollars in tax havens break down to? Well, that is more money than the combined economies of China and Germany. That’s how significant it is and why we must stop it.

We know that if we move forth the sustainable development goals, according to the business commission, that by 2030, we will create 12 trillion dollars in new market opportunities. By 2030, we will create 380 million new jobs.

We have solutions in front of us. A global tax body has been debated and must be implemented. We see legislation moving forward in the US Congress, the Corporate Transparency Act.

These four areas we must move forward in order to fulfill the sustainable development goals and the reality of stopping 22,000 children dying every single day in our world because of extreme poverty, according to UNICEF.

Thank you.

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New Senate Bill Combats Shell Companies United Nations Debates Tax Havens

Washington DC - A bipartisan group of Senators introduced the "Improving Laundering Laws and Increasing Comprehensive Information Tracking of Criminal Activity in Shell Holdings (ILLICIT CASH) Act" to stop the creation of shell corporations in the United States. The announcement came within hours of world leaders raising concerns about tax havens and shell companies during the UN General Assembly High Level Dialogue on Financing for Development. 

"Shell companies support human trafficking and drain billions from developing countries," said Eric LeCompte, UN finance expert and Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. “This bipartisan legislation can help stop US States from being used as tax havens.”

Senators Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Doug Jones (D-AL), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), John Kennedy (R-LA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and Jerry Moran (R-KS) sponsored the legislation, which would require shell companies to disclose their true owners to the US Department of Treasury.

"Anonymous shell companies have exploited vulnerable communities through Medicaid fraud and stolen development aid in the developing world,” noted LeCompte.

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Kristalina Georgieva Takes IMF Helm

Washington DC - The International Monetary Fund announces that World Bank CEO and Bulgarian environmental economist, Kristalina Georgieva, will become the Fund's new Managing Director. Georgieva replaces Christine Lagarde who resigned on September 12th. 

"Under Georgieva's leadership, we will see emphasis on gender inequality, environmental issues and the need for more resources to be directed to the developing world," stated Eric LeCompte, who monitors the IMF and is the Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. "She is the first IMF chief who comes from an emerging market country."

Georgieva is the second woman to head the Fund in its 75-year history. The new Managing Director begins her tenure amidst turbulent economic forecasts.

"She takes the helm at the IMF among warnings of global financial crisis, escalating trade tensions and declines in economic growth," noted LeCompte. 

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Bahamas, Climate, Puerto Rico, 1 Prayer, Mozambique, Transparency, NAFTA


As the Bahamas struggles to recover from Hurricane Dorian, we remember that this weekend marks the two year anniversary of Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and Dominica ravaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. 

Some of the poorest places in the world continue to wrestle with high poverty rates, unsustainable debt levels and an inability to deal with extreme natural disasters driven by climate change. Mozambique, Puerto Rico, Somalia, the Bahamas and vulnerable communities around the world are suffering.

As the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meet, will you and your organization or faith community join us and say one prayer for Jubilee during Jubilee Weekend October 18th - 20th.

When you sign-up for Jubilee Weekend we'll send you a packet with sample prayers and actions that you and your group or faith community can use for Jubilee Weekend.

When you sign-up for Jubilee Weekend, your community can support our legislation, the Corporate Transparency Act so countries can raise revenue to deal with extreme weather events. Developing countries can not deal with climate driven weather events because they lose a trillion dollars because of tax evasion, corruption and high debts. When you participate in Jubilee Weekend you'll weigh in on votes in Congress this year on our legislation that protects debt relief, stops human trafficking, curbs revenue loss and protects vulnerable people from Medicare and Medicaid fraud.

Will you sign up your community to say one prayer for Jubilee Weekend to tackle climate driven extreme weather events from the Bahamas to Mozambique to Puerto Rico?

Join tens of thousands in prayer across the US by participating in Jubilee Weekend October 18th through 20th. Joining us on Jubilee Weekend moves Congress on global transparency and creating a new NAFTA agreement that ensures all people can access life saving medicines.

Your actions and prayer means we can move forward actions that protect the vulnerable in every corner of the globe.


Eric LeCompte
Executive Director

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Seeking Justice to Bring Peace: A UN International Day of Peace event

Saturday, September 21, 5:00 - 7:30 pm
The Grauer School
1500 S El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024

Jubilee Southern California, M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi, School of Islamic Sufism, and the Grauer School are proud to hosting an event honoring the UN International Day of Peace: Seeking Justice to Bring Peace. The program will include an interfaith panel discussion on peace featuring Pastor BIll Harman, Dr. Farnaz Khoromi, Dr. Karma Lekshe Tsomo and Dr. Isa Grimes, Refreshments, Social Time, an art display, live music, reading, a candle light peace meditation prayer, and a Peace Presentation by Eric LeCompte called "Jubilee USA: International Peace Maker." 

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Pope Tackles Corruption, Climate, Debt and Poverty in Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius

Port Louis, Mauritius - Reject your "idolatrous economic model," were the words Pope Francis addressed Mauritius' political leaders with on Monday. Dubbed the "Mauritius Leaks," the island is the center of a tax avoidance scandal where companies pay a lower tax rate in Mauritius to avoid billions of dollars in taxes in the African countries where they actually do business.

"Poor African countries are losing billions of revenue needed to build infrastructure and fight poverty because of the Mauritius tax haven," stated Jubilee USA Director and United Nations finance expert, Eric LeCompte. "Pope Francis calls corruption a plague and it was the common theme for each of the three African countries he visited."

Francis is at the end of a three nation Africa tour that began on September 4th in Mozambique and continued in Madagascar before visiting Mauritius.

In Mozambique during the Catholic leader's sermon at a religious service attended by more than 60,000, Francis exclaimed, "Mozambique is a land of abundant natural and cultural riches, yet paradoxically, great numbers of its people live below the poverty level. And at times it seems that those who approach with the alleged desire to help have other interests. Sadly, this happens with brothers and sisters of the same land, who let themselves be corrupted. It is very dangerous to think that this is the price to be paid for foreign aid."

Mozambique wrestles with a $2 billion debt scandal because loans from Credit Suisse and a Russian bank intended to support the Mozambique ports and fishing industry were used to secretly outfit military boats.

"In Mozambique, the Pope is deeply concerned with corrupt officials and some global banks that benefit from and created these secret loans," said LeCompte. "The Pope is concerned by the high poverty rates, corruption and the debt crisis in Mozambique. The Holy Father asserts that debt is a tool of the rich to control poor countries."

Mozambique is recovering from two cyclones this year and data from the World Bank ranks the southeast African country as the 7th poorest in the world.

At a Catholic Mass of more than a million participants over the weekend in Madagascar, Francis took aim at allegations that more than half of Madagascar's elected leaders are involved in corrupt activities. "When 'family' becomes the decisive criterion for what we consider right and good, we end up justifying and even 'consecrating' practices that lead to...privilege and exclusion: favouritism, patronage and, as a consequence, corruption," he said.

Francis was referring to the family clan system in Madagascar and the challenge that natural resources are lost in Madagascar because of consumption of wealthy countries.

"The Pope's message for Madagascar is protect your environment and your natural resources from all forms of theft and corruption," noted LeCompte. "Madagascar's deforestation and resource theft is fueled by corruption."

In the last 6 decades nearly 45% of forests in Madagascar were lost to illicit logging and subsistence farming. In addition to corruption, Pope Francis expressed concern for climate vulnerabilities that each of the three African countries share.

“The Pope's visit to Africa spreads the message of his 2015 writings, the encyclical Laudato Si. Pope Francis in several speeches in Africa highlighted a concept from his encyclical, ecological debt or climate debt,” shared LeCompte who advises Vatican leaders on economic issues. “The rich world owes a debt to the poor world for taking their natural resources and driving climate change and poverty. Wealthy countries must return resources to poor countries so they can deal with more powerful natural disasters and extreme weather events spurred by climate change. ”

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Eric LeCompte's analysis on "Mauritius Leaks," shared in National Catholic Reporter

Jubilee USA Executive Director was cited by the National Catholic Reporter on Pope Francis's visit to Mauritius. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

Pope urges Mauritius, island tax haven, to reject 'idolatrous economic model'

Eric LeCompte, the leader of Jubilee USA, a network of religious and development groups that argue for international debt relief, cited figures showing that sixty percent of the people of Mauritius see corruption as on the rise in their country. He called the island nation "the premier tax haven in the region draining revenue from many poor countries in Africa."

Read more here

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National Catholic Reporter Quotes Eric LeCompte on Pope's Africa Agenda

National Catholic Reporter cites Eric LeCompte on Pope's Mozambique visit and debt scandal. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

Francis suggests officials in Mozambique are corrupted by foreign aid

Eric LeCompte, the leader of Jubilee USA, a network of religious and development groups that argue for international debt relief, praised the pope's choice to visit the three countries. He said each have been dealing with separate corruption scandals.

"Pope Francis is extremely concerned with the cost of corruption on the poor," LeCompte told NCR.

"In Laudato Si', Pope Francis also calls foreign debt a tool of rich countries to control poor countries," he said, citing the pontiff's 2015 encyclical letter. "Mozambique and Madagascar are examples of this as they struggle with debt crises … natural resource theft and high poverty rates."

Read more here

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Together, we can win...


Because of your actions and support, this summer our Jubilee USA campaigns are bearing fruit.

Our debt relief efforts for Somalia are gaining momentum. Congress introduced the Corporate Transparency Act to combat financial secrecy, protect debt relief monies and prevent human trafficking. Your e-mails and calls to Congress this summer secured more than $8 billion in debt relief and disaster aid for Puerto Rico.

Please join me and make a tax-deductible contribution to Jubilee USA today so we can continue to move forward strategic campaigns.   

Your gift now is matched and will double our impact this fall. 

When you donate to Jubilee USA, we can: 

  • Win debt relief for Somalia. Three quarters of Somalia's population lives in poverty and is still recovering from war and instability. This Fall, your gift means we can continue our work on a global bankruptcy process, responsible lending and debt and disaster relief campaigns for Mozambique and Caribbean islands. 


  • Pass the Corporate Transparency Act. This legislations stops "Panama Papers" financial secrecy. This behavior facilitates the theft of debt relief aid, human trafficking and contributes to the loss of more than a trillion dollars of revenue in the developing world. With your support, we can get this legislation signed into law in the next year.


  • Move forward debt and disaster relief for Puerto Rico. Already our efforts together won $50 billion in aid and moved forward a super bankruptcy process for the island. Your gift means we can win debt relief, stop austerity policies, audit the debt and win the $70 billion in recovery aid Puerto Rico still needs.


  • Push for a new NAFTA trade deal that ensures vulnerable populations and all who need life-saving medicines can access the medicines they need. Working together, we already moved the White House to eliminate harmful provisions in trade agreements that favor predatory, debt-collecting hedge funds and abusive corporations.


  • Further our efforts to address student debt, predatory debt collection and payday lending. Working together, we ensured certain types of student loans had low interest rates. When you donate to Jubilee USA now, it means our bipartisan, interfaith work can build bridges to protect students and consumers.


Please make a contribution to Jubilee USA so we can move forward our strategic, critical campaigns this fall. Your gift is doubled and matched now.



Eric LeCompte
Executive Director

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