Next week (April 18-21) campaigners will call for a Global Tax Body to be set up at the United Nations, after the Panama Papers scandal exposed just how broken the current system really is. During a press conference on Monday, campaigners will address this as well as other issues that require urgent action by governments, such as the development of a sovereign debt workout mechanism and standards to ensure that private finance delivers positive development results.
NGOs from across the world will join high level UN delegates gathering in New York for a three-day follow-up to last year’s Financing for Development (FfD) summit. They will decide how to implement their commitments to finance international development for the next 15 years.
Tove Maria Ryding, tax justice coordinator at the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad), said: “The Panama Papers show us the high price that ordinary citizens pay when governments fail to cooperate on international tax issues. The problem is not just about Panama – all around the world, developed as well as developing countries are behaving like tax havens and offering wealthy citizens and multinational corporations from other countries opportunities to hide money and dodge taxes. More than ever, we need an intergovernmental UN body on tax to put an end to this anarchy.
“For the last 50 years, the OECD – also known as the Rich Countries’ Club – has been adopting its own tax rules which it expects all countries to follow, despite the fact that more than 100 developing countries are excluded from negotiations. Last year during the Financing for Development summit in Addis Ababa, a group of developed countries, led by the United States, UK and France, blocked the proposal coming from a group of more than 130 developing countries to establish a UN body to tackle tax dodging.
“Now it is clear that as long as the international tax arena is functioning like the Wild West, all countries will lose. We therefore hope that these governments will now come to their senses and support global negotiations on this issue. The only place that can offer this is the United Nations.”
During the week high level debates will take place about the commitments to finance development. It is time for action to reopen the debate for a global tax body and make international tax justice a reality.
Julia Ravenscroft, Communications Manager at Eurodad, on +32 486 356 814.
Tove Ryding (in New York), Tax Justice Coordinator at Eurodad, on: +32 491 208 790.
Notes to editors:
Press Conference: Civil Society Perspectives on the Financing for Development Negotiations
When: Monday April 18: 11:00 New York time/ 16:00 UK time/ 17:00 Brussels time.
Venue: UN Headquarters, New York/ Livestream link: http://webtv.un.org/media/
Moderator: Stefano Prato, Society for International Development.
Speakers: Tove Maria Ryding, Eurodad; Aldo Caliari, Centre of Concern; Bhumika Muchhala, Third World Network; With a special guest: The Global Tax Body.
Organisers: The CSO FfD Group, including the Women’s Working Group on FfD.
· You can find a Q and A on the Global Tax Body at www.eurodad.org/FfDfollowup.
Photo: Global Tax Body, FFD3, Addis Ababa, July 2015, by Christian Freymeyer