African countries pave the way towards a UN Tax Convention – time for OECD countries to step up


On behalf of the Africa Group at the United Nations, Nigeria has tabled a draft resolution calling for the negotiation of a comprehensive UN Convention on Tax.

On behalf of the Africa Group at the United Nations, Nigeria has tabled a draft resolution calling for the negotiation of a comprehensive UN Convention on Tax.

The proposal was put forward at the 2nd Committee of the UN General Assembly and follows up on a landmark decision taken by consensus at the end of 2022, in which all governments agreed to start an intergovernmental UN Tax Process.

While the African countries have united behind the call for a comprehensive UN Tax Convention, an initial position from the European Union – adopted in September – suggests that the EU is still lagging far behind in terms of ambition, only showing willingness to consider non-binding UN outcomes, but not yet a UN Convention.

Tove Maria Ryding, Tax Coordinator at the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad), said:

“The Africa Group has united behind a call for a comprehensive UN Convention on Tax, and now the spotlight is on the Europeans. The EU Member States claim to be committed to truly global tax cooperation, and yet they have not accepted the invitation by the African countries to negotiate a UN Convention on Tax. If the EU countries don’t revise their position, they risk becoming blockers in the global fight against tax havens.

“We have no time for posturing and governments dragging their feet. The development of a UN Tax Convention should be an issue of urgency – not least because tax havens continue to cost countries hundreds of billions of dollars in lost tax income every year. As long as the world’s wealthiest individuals and corporations continue to be able to use international loopholes to dodge tax, we will not be able to fight inequality nor find the resources needed to fund public services and the fight against climate change.

“Some countries continue to argue that the OECD – also known as the rich countries' club - should be the global decision-makers on tax, and raise concerns that a UN Tax Convention would be a duplication. However, the OECD was never a global body, and therefore is not a legitimate place to make global decisions on tax. At the same time, it is becoming very clear that although OECD likes to call its agreements ‘global tax rules’, they are in reality very far from that. Even OECD countries such as the United States and Canada are showing great reluctance when it comes to implementing the new corporate tax rules that have been agreed at the OECD. And that is not to mention the fact that over a third of the world’s countries never joined the OECD-led negotiations in the first place.”

The Africa Group’s resolution outlines a process to deliver a UN Convention on Tax and, among other things, includes specific references to civil society participation.

Tove Maria Ryding added: “Until now, decision-making on global tax rules has happened behind closed doors in forums where countries have not been able to participate on an equal footing. With its proposal to negotiate a UN Tax Convention, the African countries are proposing transparency and inclusivity and it is hard to see how any other countries can argue against this.”


Media contact: Julia Ravenscroft, Communications Manager: [email protected]/ +44 7958 184 695.

Notes to editors

The draft UN Resolution on ‘Promotion of inclusive and effective international tax cooperation at the United Nations’, which was been submitted by Nigeria on behalf of the Group of African States, can be found here: 

The initial EU position on tax cooperation at the United Nations was agreed on 22 September 2023 and can be found here: