At the end of last month, the annual ECOSOC Special Meeting on Tax was held at the UN. This constituted the first intergovernmental debate on international tax matters following the historic approval of a new UN General Assembly resolution at the end of 2022. The resolution, which was adopted by consensus, includes the decision to “begin intergovernmental discussions in New York at United Nations Headquarters on ways to strengthen the inclusiveness and effectiveness of international tax cooperation”. The Africa Group, which had tabled the resolution, also called for the process to deliver a new UN Convention on Tax.
The developed countries’ commitment to provide climate finance to the developing countries has remained unfulfilled. The Climate Finance Withholding Mechanism (CFWM) is a potential solution for addressing climate finance needs of the developing countries. The CFWM adopts the well settled “withholding mechanism” under the tax laws to provide a steady flow of funds to the developing countries.
Civil society organizations across the world welcome the approval of the Africa Group’s proposal for inclusive and effective tax cooperation at the United Nations. The resolution was approved by consensus at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) today and is a first step towards an inclusive, democratic and transparent process to reform global tax architecture.
For over two decades, developing countries have been calling for an intergovernmental tax negotiation process at the UN, which would allow all countries to participate in discussions and decision-making related to tax on an equal footing. “This is a historic win for the tax justice and the broader economic justice movement and a big step forward to combat illicit financial flows and tax abuse,” said Dereje Alemayehu, Executive Coordinator of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ). “Africa Group’s leadership has paved the way for starting an inclusive process at the UN to build a fair and effective international tax system. This resolution heralds a great opportunity for all UN Member States to move beyond words to action for the much-needed reforms of the global financial architecture,” explained Chenai Mukumba, Policy Research and Advocacy Manager at the Tax Justice Network Africa (TJNA).