More than 200 organisations and trade unions call for the adoption of the Africa Group resolution on a UN Tax Convention


On 11 October 2023, the Africa Group at the United Nations tabled a proposal calling for a comprehensive UN tax convention. Now, over 200 organisations and trade unions have sent a letter to governments calling for the adoption of the Africa Group’s resolution, and stressing that this issue should be treated as a matter of highest priority and urgency.

To the kind attention of: Ministers of Finance, Ministers of Foreign Affairs,  Permanent Representatives and Permanent Observers to the United Nations in New York United Nations Secretariat, Agencies and Programmes. 

Subject: UNGA Second Committee Draft Resolution on Promotion of Inclusive and Effective International Tax Cooperation at the United Nations (A/C.2/77/L.18) 

Your Excellencies, Ministers and distinguished representatives of UN Member States, 

We, the undersigned civil society organisations and trade unions, strongly support and welcome the United Nations General Assembly Draft Resolution on Promotion of Inclusive and Effective International Tax Cooperation at the UN (A/C.2/78/L.18). We commend the Africa Group for its excellent leadership on this issue, and we find that the draft captures and builds on the spirit of international cooperation that led to the adoption, by consensus, of last year’s landmark Resolution A/RES/77/244 on the same topic. We now call on all governments to maintain and reinforce this spirit by supporting the draft resolution, and work actively to promote its adoption as a matter of highest priority and urgency. 

As the negotiations progress in the 2nd Committee of the UN General Assembly, we specifically call on all governments to ensure that the level of ambition and key elements of the resolution are kept intact. In particular, we would like to stress the following elements, which we believe are crucial to maintain: 

1. The establishment of a Member State-led, open-ended ad hoc intergovernmental committee to elaborate a comprehensive UN Tax Convention (paragraph 3).

Such a UN Convention could never entail duplication, because it would be the world’s first truly global agreement on international tax cooperation. Until now, the world has never seen a fully inclusive intergovernmental body where all countries can participate on an equal footing, and this injustice is at the heart of the failure of the international tax system. None of the existing international tax agreements have ever been globally endorsed, and they are all too often biased against the interests and concerns of developing countries. Furthermore, not even OECD countries are currently in agreement as regards the global tax rules and principles. This situation has contributed to large-scale illicit financial flows through international tax loopholes; international tax conflicts; instability and deep inconsistencies between tax laws of different countries. All countries have paid a high price for this failure, but the impacts on developing countries have been particularly hard.

The UN remains the only truly universal body where all countries participate as equals, and the negotiation of a UN Tax Convention entails a unique opportunity to build bridges between governments. We applaud the Africa Group for issuing an invitation to all countries of the world to engage in such a negotiation, and urge all other governments to show a similar spirit of cooperation and support this crucial initiative. 

2. Approaching the issue of international tax cooperation as an issue of high priority and urgency – by aiming to finish the UN Tax Convention by June 2025 (paragraph 4).

The urgency of this matter cannot be overstated. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, all-time high public debt service payments and the “cost of living crisis”, the fight to increase domestic resource mobilisation and combat illicit financial flows has never been more vital. In the State of Tax Justice Report 2023, Tax Justice Network has estimated that international tax abuse is costing countries US$480 billion in lost tax income every year1. Faced with the challenges of financing the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and combatting the global environmental crises, it is clear that the international community must take urgent action to strengthen international tax cooperation and stop the immense bleeding of public resources. 

3. Pursuing a comprehensive UN Tax Convention with a holistic scope and sufficient flexibility and resilience to continuously ensure equitable results as the international tax cooperation landscape evolves.

In line with the draft resolution proposed by the Africa Group, we believe that a UN Tax Convention should comprehensively address key issues in urgent need of intergovernmental agreement, including tax-related illicit financial flows and the taxation of income derived from the provision of cross-border services in an increasingly digitalized and globalized economy (paragraph 6(c)). The Convention should also incorporate other key needs and priorities of countries, and in particular developing countries (paragraph 6(a)), such as progressive taxation. 

International tax cooperation cannot be built on guidelines and voluntary frameworks. It requires legally binding agreements between governments, and for over a century, governments have been signing such agreements bilaterally. But in order to establish an inclusive, effective, fair and coherent international framework, it is high time to negotiate a global agreement – in the form of a comprehensive UN Convention. Furthermore, in order to ensure long-term sustainability and flexibility, and with an aim to allowing a stepwise approach to building intergovernmental consensus (paragraph 6(b)), we also believe that the Convention must establish a fair, transparent and fully inclusive tax governance framework that allows for the negotiation of additional legally binding agreements (in the form of protocols) in the future. 

4. Establishing clear links between international taxation and other key UN agendas (paragraph 6(b)).

In its draft resolution, the Africa Group has highlighted the importance of linking the issue of international taxation to other key areas, including sustainable development, inequality, the environment, gender, health and intergenerational aspects. We find this to be of utmost importance. For far too long, intergovernmental negotiations on tax have been absent from the UN space, and thus disconnected from the broader UN agenda. This, despite the fact that fair and progressive tax systems, supported by an inclusive and effective global governance system, are vital for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, protection of human rights and the global fight against environmental crises. 

5. Ensuring the full and effective participation of civil society in the intergovernmental UN tax process to develop a new UN Tax Convention (paragraph 4)

We strongly welcome the emphasis on the importance of civil society participation, which the Africa Group has included in the draft resolution. Fair, effective and transparent tax systems are a central element of democracy, and vital for ensuring economic, social and environmental justice. We, the undersigned civil society organisations and trade unions, have a strong engagement on these issues at the national, regional and global levels, and believe that inclusivity and active participation of observers in global negotiations is vital for ensuring fair, effective, legitimate and democratic global governance on tax. We stand ready to make our contributions and bring in-depth knowledge from all regions of the world about the devastating impacts of the failure of international tax cooperation, including the continued bleeding of public resources in the form of illicit financial flows. We also bring concrete and specific proposals for solutions, including for how a future UN Convention on Tax could be designed2. 

We remain at your disposal if you would like to receive more information or would like to meet to discuss this issue further. 

Yours sincerely, 

Civil Society Financing for Development Mechanism (


Tax Justice Network, ‘State of Tax Justice 2023’, 25 July 2023, justice-2023/
Global Alliance for Tax Justice and the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad), ‘Proposal for a United Nations Convention on Tax’, March 2022,


1. Civil Society Financing for Development (FfD) Mechanism, International
2. Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ), International
3. 11.11.11, Belgium
4. AbibiNsroma Foundation (ANF), Ghana
5. ACT Alliance, International
6. ActionAid International, International
7. Adamadeya ry, Finland
8. African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD), Africa
9. AfroLeadership, Africa
10. AidWatch Canada, Canada
11. Akina Mama wa Afrika, Africa
12. All India Disaster Mitigation Institute, India
14. All Nepal Peasants federation, Nepal
16. Alliance Sud, Switzerland
17. Amnesty International, International
18. APIT, Portugal
19. Armenian Constitutional Right - Protective Centre (ACRPC) NGO, Armenia
20. Asian Peoples' Movement on Debt and Development, Asia
21. Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia, Argentina
22. Asociación Mujeres Emprendedoras de Alta Verapaz MEAV, Guatemala
23. Association de Développement Agricole Educatif et Sanitaire de Manono ADAES, Democratic Republic of Congo
24. Association For Promotion Sustainable Development, India
25. Association Nigerienne des Scouts de l’Environnement ANSEN, Niger
26. Attac Austria, Austria
27. Attac Finland, Finland
28. Attac Germany, Germany
29. Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Bangladesh
30. Bond UK, United Kingdom
31. Botswana Council of Churches, Botswana
32. Bread for the World/ Brot für die Welt, Germany
33. Bretton Woods Project, United Kingdom
34. Campaña Latinoamericana por el Derecho a la Educación, Brazil
35. Canadians for Tax Fairness, Canada
36. Candid Concepts Development, Caribbean
37. Carbone Guinée, Guinea
38. Caribbean Policy Development Centre, Caribbean
39. CCFD-Terre Solidaire, France
40. Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), US/ International
41. Centre for Environment, Human Rights & Development Forum - CEHRDF, Asia
42. Centre for International Corporate Tax Accountability & Research (CICTAR), Australia
43. Centre Régional Africain pour le Développement Endogène et Communautaire (CRADEC), Cameroon
44. Centro de estudios de derecho, justicia y sociedad - Dejusticia, Colombia
45. Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS), Argentina
46. Cholistan Development council, Pakistan
47. Christian Aid, International
48. Christian Aid Ireland, Ireland
49. Christian Council Church, Mozambique
51. Civil Society SDGs Campaign GCAP Zambia, Zambia
52. Clean Air Action Group, Hungary
53. Climate Action Network Australia, Australia
54. Climate Action Network International, International
55. Coalition Nationale des Organisations Féministes pour laGénération Egalité
du Gabon (CNOFGEG), Gabon
56. COAST Foundation, Bangladesh
57. Collectif Sénégalais des Africaines pour la Promotion de l'Éducation Relative à l'Environnement (COSAPERE), Senegal
58. Comisión Nacional de Enlace CNE, Costa Rica
59. Committee on Fiscal Studies, Kenya
60. Community service and Development Action COSDA, Somalia
61. Cooperation Committee for Cambodia (CCC), Cambodia
62. Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN), Namibia
63. CRASH - Coalition for Research and Action for Social Justice and Human Dignity, Finland
64. Creatura Think & Do Tank ry, Finland
65. Croatian Platform for International Citizen Solidarity (CROSOL), Croatia
66. Crofter Foundation, Pakistan
67. DECIDAMOS, Campaña por la Expresion ciudadana, Paraguay
68. Defensores do planeta, Brazil
69. Democracy Forum Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, Finland
70. Desk for Social Development of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (DfSD-ELCRN), Namibia
73. EcoEquity, United States of America
74. Economic Justice Network of FOCCISA, South Africa
75. Electra Energy, Greece
76. Enda Colombia, Colombia
77. Equidad de Género: Ciudadanía, Trabajo y Familia, Mexico
78. European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad), Europe
79. European Network on Independent Living, Europe
80. Fair Tax Foundation, United Kingdom
81. Felm, Finland
82. Feminist Legal Studies Queen's University, Canada
83. Financial Justice Ireland, Ireland
84. Financial Transparency Coalition, International
85. Finnish Development NGOs Fingo, Finland
86. Finnwatch, Finland
87. Food Sovereignty and Climate justice Network, South Asia
88. Forum for Women in Democracy, Uganda
89. Freedom from Debt Coalition, Philippines
90. Fundación Nacional para el Desarrollo, El Salvador
91. Fundacion SES, Argentina
92. Fundar Centro de Análisis e Investigación, Mexico
93. GCAP LAC, Latin America and the Caribbean
94. Genç Düşünce Enstitüsü, Turkey
95. Gender and Development Network (GADN), United Kingdom
96. Gender and Economy Research Center NPGE, Brazil
97. Gestos (soropositividade, comunicação e gênero), Brazi
98. Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP), International
99. Global Campaign for Education (GCE), International
100. Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR), International
101. Global Peace and Development Organization, Liberia
102. Global Policy Forum, International
103. Global Redistribution Advocates, International
104. Global Social Justice, International/Switzerland
105. Global South Coalition for Dignified Menstruation, International
106. Greenpeace, International
107. Groupe de Réflexion et d'Initiative pour l'Avancement de la Grand'Anse (GRIAG), Haiti
108. Growthwatch India, India
110. GT Agenda 2030 (CS working group for the 2030 Agenda), Brazil
111. Halley Movement Coalition- Mauritius, Mauritius
113. IMAL Initiative for Climate & Development, Morocco
114. IMCS Pax Romana, Mexico
115. Independent Living Institute, Sweden
116. Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), India
117. Inesc - Instituto de Estudos Socioeconômicos, Brazil
118. Iniciativa por los Derechos Humanos en la Política Fiscal, Latin America
119. Initiative Citoyenne pour l'Environnement et le Développement Durable (ICED), Burundi
120. Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER - Uganda), Uganda
121. INPADE, Latin America
122. Institute for Economic Justice (IEJ), South Africa
123. Instituto Centroamericano de Estudios Fiscales (ICEFI), Guatemala
124. Instituto Justiça Fiscal, Brazil
125. International Association of Charities, International
126. International Budget Partnership, International
127. International Federation of Social Workers, International
128. International Network of Liberal Women, The Netherlands
129. KASYANO, Democratic Republic of Congo
130. Kissan Kerkela, Pakistan
131. Kopin, Malta
132. KOTHOWAIN (vulnerable peoples dev. org), Bangladesh
133. Labour Education Foundation, Pakistan
134. LATINDADD - Red Latinoamericana por Justicia Económica y Social, Latin America
135. Loss & Damage Collaboration, International
136. Malawi Economic Justice Network MEJN, Malawi
137. MenaFem Movement for Economic, Development and Ecological Justice, Mena
138. Mines mineral and people, India
139. Misère Option Zéro, Togo
140. Movimiento Tzuk Kim-pop, Guatemala
141. MyRight, International
142. Nash Vek Public Foundation, Kyrgyzstan
143. National Campaign for Sustainable Development Nepal, Nepal
144. National Ethical Service, United States of America
146. National Society of Conservationists - FoE Hungary, Hungary
147. Netzwerk Steuergerechtigkeit, Germany
148. NGO Federation of Nepal, Nepal
149. Nkoko Iju Africa, Kenya
150. Norwegian Church Aid, Norway
151. Norwegian Forum for Development and Environment, Norway
152. Norwegian Students' and Academics' International Assistance Fund - SAIH, Norway
153. O.C.A.M.E., Ecuador
154. Oil Change International, International
155. Okogun Odigie Safewomb International Foundation, Nigeria
156. ONG Plus de Sida dans les Familles, Gabon
157. Oxfam, International
158. Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum, Pakistan
159. Pakistan Kisan Rabita Committee, Pakistan
160. Partners In Health, International
161. Povod institute, Slovenia
162. PRAKARSA, Indonesia
163. Progressive Labour Federation, Pakistan
164. Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK-PUBLIK), Philippines
165. Radha Paudel Foundation, Nepal
166. REACHOUT SALONE, Sierra Leone
167. Red de Justicia Fiscal de América Latina y El Caribe, Latin America and the Caribbean
168. Red Mexicana de Acción frente al Libre Comercio (RMALC), Mexico
169. Re-Generation, Canada
170. Renafes, Senegal
171. RENICC, Nicaragua
172. Right to Education Initiative, International
173. Rural Area Development Programme (RADP), Nepal/South Asia
174. Rural Reconstruction Nepal, Nepal
175. Samoa Umbrella for Non Government Organisations, Samoa
176. Save the Children, International
177. SENTRO LABOR, Philippines
178. Siemenpuu Foundation, Finland
179. SKOP - The National Platform of Maltese NGDOs, Malta
180. SocDevJustice, Germany
181. Society for International Development (SID), International
182. Solidarité des Femmes sur le Fleuve Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo
184. SOMO, The Netherlands
185. South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE), Nepal
186. Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI) Uganda, Uganda
187. Success Capital Organisation, Botswana
188. Sukaar Welfare Organization, Pakistan
189. Swera Foundation, Pakistan
190. Syndicat Chrétien des Travailleurs du Congo SCTC, Democratic Republic of Congo
191. TAFJA NEPAL, Nepal
192. Tameer e Nou Women Workers Organisation, Pakistan
193. Tax and Fiscal Justice Alliance, Nepal
194. Tax and Fiscal Justice-Asia (TAFJA), Asia
195. Tax Justice Europe (TJ-E), Europe
196. Tax Justice Italia, Italy
197. Tax Justice Netherlands, The Netherlands
198. Tax Justice Network, International
199. Tax Justice Network, Africa Africa
200. Tax Justice Network Australia, Australia
201. Tax Justice Norway, Norway
202. Tax Justice UK, United Kingdom
203. TaxEd Alliance, International
204. Taxmenow – Initiative für Steuergerechtigkeit e.V., Germany / Austria / Switzerland
205. The Christian Council of Mozambique, Mozambique
206. The Lutheran World Federation (LWF), International
207. Third World Network, International
209. Transparency International Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
210. Trend Asia, Indonesia
211. UNASCAD (Union des Amis Socio Culturels d'Action en Developpement), Haiti
212. Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, United States of America
213. Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania, Australia
215. Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation (VIDC), Austria
217. War on Want, United Kingdom
218. Wemos, The Netherlands
219. WIDE - Network for Women ́s Rights and Feminist Perspectives in Development, Austria
220. WomanHealth Philippines, Philippines
221. Women Empowerment Against Poverty of Nepal (WEAPoN), Nepal
222. Women Engage for a Common Future, Germany
223. Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), United States of America
224. World Economy, Ecology & Development - WEED, Germany
225. Youth For Tax Justice Network, Africa
227. Zimbabwe coalition on debt and development, Zimbabwe