Historic tax vote paves the way for a UN Tax Convention
Today, a historic tax resolution tabled by the Africa Group was adopted at the UN General Assembly, kickstarting an intergovernmental UN tax process to negotiate a new UN Framework Convention on International Tax Cooperation.
Today, a historic tax resolution tabled by the Africa Group was adopted at the UN General Assembly. This kickstarts an intergovernmental UN tax process to negotiate a new UN Framework Convention on International Tax Cooperation. While a minority group of mainly OECD countries voted against the resolution, it was adopted by an overwhelming majority.
The countries that voted against the resolution will still be invited to join as the intergovernmental UN process to develop a new global Tax Convention begins in 2024.
Tove Maria Ryding, Tax Coordinator at the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad) said: “We strongly welcome the adoption of the UN tax resolution, which marks a truly historic shift. The Africa Group has spearheaded a democratic tax revolution and won the right for developing countries to participate on an equal footing in the development of global tax standards.
“In light of the global development challenges and the climate crisis, it is vital that all governments now step up the fight against international tax abuse, which is costing governments hundreds of billions of dollars in lost tax income every year.
“While the Africa Group has shown tremendous leadership, several OECD countries have tried to block and obstruct the UN process. This includes the EU countries, which claim to be committed to international tax cooperation, but proved the exact opposite today by voting against the Africa Group’s resolution. By doing that, they are not only undermining a fair and effective global tax system, but also acting against the interests of their own citizens, who pay a high price when wealthy individuals and big corporations use international loopholes to dodge taxes. We call on the blockers to right their wrongs and join the UN process to develop a fair and effective UN Convention on Tax.”
The budget for the new intergovernmental tax process will be up for approval at the UN in December 2023, and the negotiations between governments are expected to begin in 2024. Until August 2024, the focus will be on developing Terms of Reference for a new UN Framework Convention on International Tax Cooperation. Based on these Terms of Reference, governments then will proceed to negotiate the new UN Tax Convention.
Contact: Julia Ravenscroft, Communications Manager, Eurodad: [email protected].
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- The vote at the UN took place in the 2nd Committee of the UN General Assembly, which deals with economic and financial affairs. The text of the resolution that was adopted can be found here.
- Last week, the Africa Group at the United Nations organised a press conference at the United Nations Headquarters to introduce the group’s resolution. The video of the press conference can be found here.
- For more information about the UN tax process, see this Q&A.
- Tax Justice Network has estimated that international tax abuse is costing countries US$480 billion in lost tax income every year. For more information, see the State of Tax Justice report 2023.