Press Statement on the Addis Ababa FfD outcome
Wednesday 15 July 2015
Tonight, the Addis Ababa outcome was closed. The final outcome rejects the proposal of establishing an intergovernmental UN body on tax matters, and instead introduces some minor changes to the existing UN expert committee. This means that the OECD will remain the only intergovernmental body that adopts global standards on tax matters.
Tove Maria Ryding, Policy and Advocacy Manager for Tax Justice at the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad) said: “After three days of bullying, developing countries were finally run over. The consequence of the Addis Ababa outcome is that more than 100 developing countries will remain excluded from decision making on global tax standards.
“This is not only a tragic day for the world’s developing countries, who will now have to accept that global tax standards will get decided in a closed room where they are not welcome. It is a tragic day for all of us, because a global tax system where half of the world’s countries are excluded from decision making will never be effective. As long as our governments keep failing to cooperate on tax matters, multinational corporations will be able to dodge taxes. At the end of the day, the Addis Ababa failure will impact us all.
“It was a painful moment to see the developed countries celebrating the fact that nothing will change and everything will remain the same. This sets a terrible precedent for the post-2015 and climate negotiations. This was never a negotiation in good faith, and the developed countries have consistently refused to even discuss the issues on the table.”
This last decision adds to a long list of disappointments.
Maria Jose Romero, Policy and Advocacy Manager at Eurodad, said: “This agreement opens the door for the private sector to use development money to generate profits, while the standards to ensure that companies comply with human rights remain non-binding guidelines. It also fails to recognise the many problems associated with public private partnerships, which can land developing countries in severe financial problems."
Bodo Ellmers, Policy and Advocacy Manager at Eurodad, said: "While several countries are already in debt crises and many suffer from high debt burdens, no concrete debt relief initiatives have been agreed at the Addis Ababa Summit. The agreement makes vague references to principles for sovereign debt restructuring but it did not make much progress on developing a multilateral debt restructuring framework that is still missing and badly needed to prevent and manage future debt crises. The escalation of the Greek crisis that dominated the news during the summit has proven how harmful unresolved debt crises are for development, but decision-makers did not take the necessary steps.
"This job must now be done by the UN General Assembly and its Debt Restructuring Committee that will meet in late July in New York."
Media contact: Julia Ravenscroft: firstname.lastname@example.org, +251 (0) 9 65 286 523