At the conclusion of its 2-day meeting in Mexico, the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information is credited with having taken major steps to confirm the end of the era of banking secrecy as a shield for tax evaders. In [remarks](,3343,en_2649_34487_43596999_1_1_1_1,00.html) delivered at the Forum, OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria said *“what we are witnessing is nothing short of a revolution. By addressing the challenges posed by the dark side of the tax world, the campaign for global tax transparency is in full flow. We have equipped ourselves with the institutional means to continue the campaign. With the crisis, global public opinion’s expectations are high, their tolerance of non-compliance is zero and we must deliver”.*

Representatives from the Forum, whose membership now numbers almost 90 jurisdictions around the world, and a host of International Organisations gathered in Mexico. According to the [summary report]( from the OECD, the meeting took concrete steps to empower the Global Forum to play the leading role in the global campaign to fight tax evasion.

Building on the extraordinary progress made in the last few months to incorporate the globally accepted standards developed by the OECD in both new and existing agreements, the Forum took the following key decisions:

**Teeth:** to put in place a robust, comprehensive and global monitoring and peer review process to ensure that members implement their commitments; a Peer Review Group has been established to examine the legal and administrative framework in each jurisdiction and practical implementation of these standards. A first report on monitoring progress will be issued by end 2009.

**Extended Global Reach:** to further expand its membership and to enshrine the principle that all members enjoy equal footing.

**Faster Agreements:** to speed up the process of negotiating and concluding information exchange agreements including exploring new multilateral avenues.

**Developing country assistance:** to put in place a coordinated technical assistance program to assist smaller jurisdictions to implement the standards rapidly.

In its [Assessment of Tax Co-operation in 2009 ](,3343,en_2649_33767_43582376_1_1_1_37427,00.html)issued on Monday, the Global Forum highlighted that the standards on transparency and exchange of information pioneered by the OECD are now almost universally accepted and that extraordinary progress has already been made towards their full implementation.

The Global Forum’s conclusions will be reported to the G20 Finance ministers who will be meeting in London on 4-5 September and to the meeting of the G20 Leaders Summit in Pittsburgh on 24-25 September.

The Forum reportedly also agreed on the need to convene more regularly, and the next meeting has been scheduled for 2010.