As G20 meets to rubberstamp OECD tax deal, 130+ developing countries push for UN tax body
The move, which challenges the OECD's dominance as the place where global tax rules are written, is a strong sign that many developing countries do not consider the discussion about global tax rules to be over.
This weekend, G20 leaders are meeting in Rome to formally adopt the political agreement on new corporate tax rules that was announced by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) earlier this month. Meanwhile, at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York, the Group of 77 (G77), a negotiating body representing over 130 developing countries, has tabled a proposal to set up an intergovernmental UN tax body – thereby challenging the OECD’s dominance as the place where global tax rules are written.
Tove Maria Ryding, Tax Coordinator at the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad), said:
“Over one third of the world’s countries were never part of the OECD-led negotiations on new global tax rules, and among the developing countries that did participate, several chose not to sign onto the outcome document. The fact that over 130 developing countries have now tabled a proposal to have an intergovernmental UN tax negotiation is a strong sign that they do not consider the discussion about global tax rules to be over. We very much welcome that.
“The United Nations is the only forum where countries can participate on a truly equal footing. The OECD is a rich countries’ club and even when developing countries are invited to come and participate in OECD-led processes, the interests of wealthy countries will dominate the negotiations. The recent OECD tax deal is a stark reminder of this. What we need is an intergovernmental UN tax body with universal membership, so that all countries can participate on an equal footing when global tax rules are written. The proposal that G77 has put forward is an important first step, and we call on all countries to support it.
“All nations, including the OECD member states, have a strong interest in coherent, fair and effective international tax rules that put an end to international tax dodging. The OECD-led negotiations have created divisions and failed to foster a global consensus. Therefore, it is naive to think that all countries will join the resulting tax deal.
“The UN is the place where our governments negotiate global agreements to solve problems such as climate change, human rights and sustainable development goals. If we want to mobilise resources for development and environmental protection, we need to make sure that the fight against tax havens and international tax dodging becomes a priority for the intergovernmental negotiations at the UN”.
See also the Eurodad reaction to the OECD-led tax deal, which was agreed earlier this month.
Media contact: Julia Ravenscroft, Communications Manger, Eurodad: [email protected]/ +44 7958 184 695.
Note to editors
The draft resolution that has been submitted to the UN General Assembly by Guinea on behalf of the Group of 77 and China can be found in the UN online document system (document number A/C.2/76/L.28). The proposal to establish an intergovernmental UN tax body is contained in paragraph 19 of the document, and has been copied below. From UN document A/C.2/76/L.28 :
United Nations General Assembly
Agenda item 18 (f)
Macroeconomic policy questions: promotion of international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows and strengthen good practices on assets return to foster sustainable development
Promotion of international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows and strengthen good practices on assets return to foster sustainable development
The General Assembly,
[…] 19. Calls for the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters to be accorded the status of a United Nations intergovernmental body with experts representing their respective Governments, and would invite the Committee to consider proposals to further international tax cooperation at the United Nations, identify gaps and challenges in international tax cooperation, including in existing instruments, and present its concrete recommendations to the Economic and Social Council.