Civil Society FfD Group calls for the establishment of a universal, intergovernmental tax body at the UN and agreeing a UN Tax Convention through a truly universal, intergovernmental process to comprehensively address tax havens, tax abuse by multinational corporations and other illicit financial flows that obstruct redistribution and drain resources that are crucial to challenging inequalities, particularly gender inequality.
The below database tracks statements by governments supporting this call.
|G77 and China||2011||Link||Despite the commitment made in the Monterrey Consensus and reaffirmed at the International Conference on Financing for Development at Doha and during the United Nations Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis, to develop a more participatory approach to international decision-making and rule setting, including for ECOSOC to examine the strengthening of institutional arrangements to promote international cooperation in tax matters, including the United Nations Committee of Experts, it remains disappointing that there has been no concrete movement to fulfil this mandate. To this end, the Group of 77 and China urges Member States to consider the conversion of the United Nations Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters into an intergovernmental subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council, through a mechanism that is inclusive, participatory and where broad-based dialogue on international tax issues would be considered and agreed not resulting in the encroachment on the sovereignty of Member States.|
|Brazil||2011||Link||In its current format, however, the work of the Committee is limited by the nature of the body. In order for the Committee to fully discharge its functions, its deliberations should have an intergovernmental nature. As an expert body, it is also not adequately equipped to address some of the emerging challenges in tax matters, such as the international fight against tax evasion, promotion of transparency and international exchange of information on tax matters. Effective cooperation in such areas requires institutional arrangements that only an intergovernmental body can ensure|
|CARICOM||2011||Link||It is the considered position of CARICOM that this important work should be directly linked to an intergovernmental process where there is focused consideration of the issues involved and where provision is made for necessary follow-up at the appropriate levels. It is in this context that CARICOM has supported and continues to support the conversion of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters into an intergovernmental subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council.|
|China||2011||Link||Given the institutional deficiencies of the Committee, China agrees to reforming the institutional arrangement of the Committee, and upgrading it into an intergovernmental organization subordinate to ECOSOC to improve its authority and effectiveness in handling and coordinating international tax matters.|
|India||2011||Link||India will support Inter-Governmental Commission over the existing Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters.|
|G77 and China||2012||Link||the G77 and China while not entirely happy with the current process on the issue, welcomes, as an important step, the much needed process of intergovernmental consideration of international cooperation in tax matters as provided for in this current resolution. It is our view that the one-day meeting of ECOSOC as called for in the resolution will provide, inter alia, the opportunity for continued consultations on the strengthening of institutional arrangements to promote international cooperation in tax matters. In this connection, it must be added that the Group is committed to the upgrade of the Committee into an intergovernmental subsidiary body of the ECOSOC and reserves the right to revisit the position in the future as the matter progresses.|
|India||2012||Link||It is inconceivable as to how a standard developed by Government of only 34 countries can be accepted by Government of other countries as ‘standard’ of sharing of revenue on international transactions between source and resident country particularly when it can only take care of the interest of developed countries and has seriously restricted the taxing powers of source country. Views of OECD and UN on sharing of tax revenue by developing and developed countries are not the same and accordingly concerns of duplication of efforts should be ignored. India requests that the United Nations may consider constituting Inter-Governmental Commission (including sub-committees), having representatives from Governments of the developed and developing countries, on various issues related to International Taxation and Transfer Pricing, to develop guidelines on the basis of consensus amongst all countries.|
|G77 and China||2013||Link||The Group of 77 & China reiterates its call to change the status of the Committee of Experts on Tax Matters, transforming it from experts acting in their own capacity, to an intergovernmental universal body of the UN, with experts representing their respective governments. This transformation is necessary and important in order to allow all member States to have an equal say on issues related to tax matters. The role of the United Nations on international cooperation in tax matters is especially important as it is the only true global forum with universal relevance and participation.|
|CARICOM||2013||Link||CARICOM fully supports the proposal submitted by the Group of 77 and China, which called for the conversion of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters into an intergovernmental subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council. CARICOM strongly believes that the upgrading of the Committee, in this manner, would allow for proper intergovernmental consideration of issues of international tax cooperation – consideration currently not provided for under the General Segment of ECOSOC.|
|G77 and China||2014||Link||The Group of 77 & China reiterates its call to change the status of the Committee of Experts on Tax Matters, transforming it from experts acting in their own capacity, to an intergovernmental subsidiary body of the Council, with experts representing their respective governments. This transformation is necessary and important in order to allow all member States, including developing countries, to have an equal say on issues related to tax matters.|
|CARICOM||2014||Link||CARICOM also recognizes that the United Nations Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters has done useful work in supporting national efforts toward efficient tax administration and policies, including through the enhancement of international cooperation and participation at the multilateral level. CARICOM is of the view that this work should not be perfunctorily noted. Rather, it should be supported and enhanced and directly linked to an intergovernmental process. It also should be better integrated into the programme of work of the Council following its reform and effectively factored into the post-2015 development agenda discussions.|
It is in this context that CARICOM fully supports the call for the conversion of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters into an intergovernmental subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council.
|G77 and China||2015||Link||We maintain that while there is increasing recognition of the central role of tax systems in development, the fact remains that there is still no global, inclusive norm-setting body for international tax cooperation at the inter-governmental level. There is also not enough focus on the development dimension of these issues. The Group of 77 and China has repeatedly called for the upgrade of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters, transforming it from experts acting in their own capacity, to an inter-governmental subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), with experts representing their respective governments. We believe that this would go a long way in not only strengthening international cooperation in tax matters, but it would allow all member States, including developing countries, to have an equal say on issues related to tax matters as well.|
|Africa Group||2015||Link||Strengthen the role of the UN in promoting international cooperation on tax matters, including setting up an intergovernmental tax body, as demanded several times by many developing countries|
|Bangladesh||2015||Link||We are supportive of the upgradation of the Committee on Tax Matters into an intergovernmental body as it would accrue many benefits to the tax discourse. It will go a long way ensuring coordination among the different processes that are in place now towards improving the taxation regimes across the world.|
|Brazil||2015||Link||Brazil has been highly engaged in the Global Forum on Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, as well as in the G20/OECD exercise on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting. Those are important mechanisms of cooperation and represent a change in attitude towards tax evasion and aggressive tax planning. But they are limited in composition and take only in a very limited manner into account the very different realities of developing countries. A genuine global tax body would, therefore, make tremendous sense in a transformative post-2015 development agenda. It is high time to further strengthen and revamp our work on tax matters at the UN, including through the upgrading of the existing committee to an Intergovernmental Committee of Experts in Tax Matters. In a context where it is clear that tax policies and capacities are essential do domestic resource mobilization, it is difficult to understand the logic of those that oppose truly multilateral discussions on tax cooperation|
|CARICOM||2015||Link||CARICOM agrees with the report of the Secretary-General that there remains a fundamental gap in the area of international tax cooperation, given that during a time when fundamental changes to international tax standards are being devised, many developing countries do not have a “full seat at the table”. |
CARICOM fully supports the call for the conversion of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters into an intergovernmental subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). CARICOM strongly believes that the upgrading of the Committee would help to bridge the gap in international tax cooperation, and facilitate the strengthening of its work, particularly as it relates to its development dimension and capacity building for developing countries.
|Colombia||2015||Link||En este marco, apoyamos la propuesta de los co-facilitadores de fortalecer y convertir el Comité de Expertos de las Naciones Unidas en Cooperación Internacional en Cuestiones de Tributación en un órgano intergubernamental.|
Google Translate: In this context, we support the proposal of the co-facilitators to strengthen and convert the United Nations Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters into an intergovernmental body.
|India||2015||Link||In today’s interconnected world, tax policy is a global public interest, having ramifications far beyond national borders. Greater information exchange is good, but not a substitute for genuine and equitable multilateralism in deciding global norms and standards on taxation. If this is truly a universal agenda, then all of us must have an equal seat at the table to legislate on global issues. The lack of an ambitious decision on upgrading the UN Committee of Experts on international cooperation on tax matters into an intergovernmental body, in our view, is a historic missed opportunity.|
|India||2015||Link||From a larger philosophical sense, the strong call of G77, and indeed all the developing countries and even some within OECD, for an intergovernmental body in the UN on |
taxation is essentially founded on the principle of inclusivity. It is a call based on the principle of transparency. It’s a call that is also linked to what we hear from partners about universality. We find it odd that those who stress the importance of universality, then go on to circumscribe it in the name of efficiency.
From our perspective, international cooperation on taxation is a very good candidate to be considered a global public good. In a globalized world, actions on taxation in one country affect practically everyone else. And if this is a global public good, then all of us should have an equal seat at the table to decide global norms on it.
I am conscious that I am saying this on behalf of India, even as we are part of several of the initiatives which have been mentioned in the context of international cooperation on taxation.
We are part of the Global Forum. In fact, we are among the developing countries who have helped push the Global Forum to where it is today. We are also of course a member of G20. But we feel that the work being done in these institutions is not in contradiction to what the UN can do. We strongly feel that everybody, every country, rich or poor, big or small does have a right to an inclusive and equitable place on the table to decide on an issue as important as international cooperation on tax.
|Panama||2015||Link||The international community has responded to this challenge by expanding cooperation between nations through the aid of international organizations such as the OECD, the UN Committee of Tax Experts (we actually support the upgrading to an intergovernmental body), the IMF, and the World Bank amongst others.|
|G77 and China||2016||Link||The Ministers expressed their concern over illicit financial flows and related thereto tax avoidance and evasion, corruption and money laundering, by using certain practices, with negative impacts for the world economy and, in particular, for developing countries. They maintained that, while there is increasing recognition of the central role of tax systems in development and the importance of international cooperation on tax matters, there is still no single global inclusive forum for international tax cooperation at the intergovernmental level. There is also not enough focus on the development dimension of these issues. In this context, the Ministers reiterated the need to fully upgrade the United Nations Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters into an intergovernmental body and to provide adequate resources to the Committee to fulfill its mandate as well as increase the participation of experts of developing countries at its meetings. This will be critical in transforming the current Committee from experts acting in their own capacity to an intergovernmental subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council, with experts representing their respective Governments.|
|G24||2016||Link||We encourage greater participation of developing countries in the activities of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters, which should be upgraded into an intergovernmental level.|
|India||2016||Link||India is of the consistent view that the Committee should be upgraded to an intergovernmental body. This would be crucial for the effective implementation of the 2030 agenda.|
|G77 and China||2017||Link||The Group of 77 and China highlights the situation that there is still no single global inclusive forum for international tax cooperation at the intergovernmental level. While it may be indicated that a certain level of dialogue and initiative actions are taking place at the international level regarding cooperation on tax matters, the Group underscores that the United Nations is the only universal forum where these issues can be discussed in an open, transparent, and inclusive manner, considering that other processes might be outlined from a perspective that safeguards the interests of constituents from developed countries.|
|Brazil||2017||Link||We know that tax issues increasingly take on an international dimension, and that its consideration requires the involvement of all countries. The issues discussed here earlier, such as tax havens, combating illicit financial flows and strengthening developing countries’ fiscal capacities will not be adequately addressed through isolated national efforts. Illicit financial flows will not be tackled without coordination among origin, destination and transit countries. It is particularly important that developed countries contribute to this task through the experience accumulated over the years and the material resources available. For these reasons, cooperation in tax matters should be given genuine intergovernmental consideration, in an environment that is representative of all countries’ interests, in an equitable manner. Brazil welcomes and recognizes the efforts being made to make international tax coordination bodies more democratic and representative. However, the truly universal space, able to give voice to the whole of the international community, is the United Nations.|
|Egypt||2017||Link||Statement is in Arabic. English translation of the audio is available here (2:32:47 onwards): http://webtv.un.org/watch/17th-meeting-special-meeting-on-international-cooperation-in-tax-matters-economic-and-social-council-2017-session/5390214837001. |
Egypt notes that the UN should be the major body dealing with issues of tax cooperation and supports transforming the UN Tax Committee to an intergovernmental body.
|G24||2017||Link||We appreciate the work of the UN Tax Committee and encourage multilateral support to upgrade the Committee to an intergovernmental body to enhance the voice of EMDCs (Emerging Markets and Developing Countries) on international tax policy matters. We also call for more attention to developing fair tax rules to guide the taxation of multinational corporations and for international cooperation to prevent harmful international tax competition, negative spillovers from shifts in tax policies in major countries, and illicit financial flows.|
|India||2017||Link||India believes that implementation of a truly universal agenda would need a platform where all countries have equal voice on the issues related to international taxation. UN is the only forum which can provide this platform for open, transparent and inclusive processes to safeguard the interest of all its members. We look forward to upgradation of the Committee, to an inter-governmental subsidiary body of the ECOSOC, with experts representing their respective governments. This would provide the Committee an enhanced legitimacy, accountability and authority and consequently enhanced impact of its work.|
|India||2017||Link||This is so because the global governance architecture for cooperation in taxation has not kept pace with the pace of globalization. International tax matters remain bastions of Westphalian sovereignty. With origins in work undertaken by the League of Nations in the 1920s international tax cooperation is largely centered in a network of more than 3800 bilateral agreements. These have in recent times been supplemented by some plurilateral efforts in fora such as OECD and the G-20.|
As for multilateralism, while it is seen as faltering on many fronts, it has been and remains conspicuously absent in matters of international tax cooperation. Those who have championed expansive roles for multilateral organizations on numerous other issues have alas not espoused this cause.
While developing countries, like mine, are taking measures to improve their domestic tax revenue base, globalization demands a more participatory, transparent, accountable and democratic global governance structure on tax issues. And the UN under its new Secretary General and his team must decisively and with determination support efforts to reconfigure and realign international decision making with contemporary realities. This august body’s universality and legitimacy bestows upon it this responsibility and it must deliver.
|South Africa||2017||Link||The scourge of illicit financial flows (IFFs) continues to drain developing countries, particularly the African Continent of billions of dollars that could be the potential source of revenue critical in attaining economic growth. By some estimates, including that of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, illicit flows from the continent could be as much as US $50 billion per annum. South Africa views the combatting of illicit flows, putting an end to tax evasion and tax avoidance as a matter of international cooperation. These matters could be addressed with a solid and universal and inter-governmental tax regime that will close all loopholes for potential abuse and as such empower national governments to have stronger and water- tight legislative systems to efficiently and meaningfully govern their tax matters.|
|G77 and China||2018||Link|| We express our deep concern that there is still no single global inclusive forum for international tax cooperation at the intergovernmental level. The lack of a global, transparent process on setting the norms and standards of international tax regime continues to be problematic with the agenda and design of the ongoing tax reforms are conducted in forums outside the UN. In that regard, we reaffirm the urgent need to fully upgrade the Committee of Experts in Tax Matters to an intergovernmental body with experts representing their respective governments. We reiterate that this issue is still a priority for the Group and we are committed to push forward this proposal in all relevant fora.|
While the establishment of the inter-Agency Platform for Collaboration on Tax (PCT) reflects an urge to strengthen coherence, coordination and consensus building in international tax matters, we need to bear in mind that such an effort must be conducted though intergovernmental cooperation and negotiations. Again, the establishment of a universal, intergovernmental UN tax body would be the appropriate way forward on these issues.
|India||2018||Link||India believes that implementation of a truly universal agenda would need a platform where all countries have equal voice on the issues related to international taxation. UN can provide this platform for open, transparent and inclusive processes to safeguard the interest of all its members. This would also strengthen the relationship between taxation and development by providing a voice to the developing countries and a balance between North and South.|
|G77 and China||2019||Link||We recognize with concern that there is still no single globally inclusive intergovernmental forum for international tax cooperation. In that regard, we reiterate the need to fully upgrade the Committee of Experts in Tax Matters to an intergovernmental body with experts representing their respective governments.|
|India||2019||Link||We believe that implementation of a truly universal agenda would need a platform where all countries have equal voice on the issues related to international taxation. An intergovernmental body with universal membership is essential for more effective implementation of tax standards and norms and for the effective implementation of the 2030 agenda. UN is the only forum which can provide this platform for open, transparent and inclusive processes to safeguard the interest of all its members.|
|Nigeria||2019||Link||2:25:35 to 2:26:00…. ‘we emphasise that institutional reforms at domestic level alone will not effectively solve the problem. Therefore, in this regard, we support the call for a separate convention on tax matters and upgrading the United Nations Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters to an intergovernmental subsidiary body with a mandate to address all aspects of IFFs.”|
|Africa Group||2019||Link||2:54:44 to 2:54:58 We therefore call for a separate International Convention on Tax. We believe that such a convention will serve as the backbone for our envisaged upgraded Tax Committee and will assist in tackling all aspects of illicit financial flows”|
|Africa Group||2020||Link||we reiterate the call for initiating a process within the UN which will lead to a UN Tax convention as well as guidance on steps towards the establishment of a UN intergovernmental tax body, as proposed by the Group of 77 and China during the negotiation process for the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.|
|Ghana||2021||Link||To recover better from this pandemic, Ghana suggests the following policy focus: working towards a United Nations tax convention to set global standards and establish an inclusive intergovernmental body on tax matters in the United Nations in tax norm setting.|
|G77 and China||2021||Link||UNGA Second Committee resolution A/C.2/76/L.28: “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”;|
|Arab Group||2022||Link||Translated from google translate:|
“The idea of reforming an international tax structure to respond to the realities of the growth of international trade, cross-border investment and the digital economy, and the establishment of an international mechanism for this purpose, must be based on consultation with all UN member states and not on the basis of a mechanism prepared within the framework of a limited number of Countries. The Arab Group also supports the idea of initiating multilateral negotiations within the framework of the United Nations on tax transactions.”
|G77 and China||2022||Link||“8. On illicit financial flows, the Group reiterates the need to strengthen international cooperation on tax matters. We recognize with concern that there is still no single global inclusive forum for tax cooperation at the intergovernmental level.|
9. To fill the need for a more broad-based cooperation on international tax policy and combat associated illicit financial flows, the Group reiterates its call for the upgrading of the existing Committee of Experts in Tax Matters to an intergovernmental body, with experts representing their respective governments.
|CARICOM||2022||Link||“First, with regard to international taxation, CARICOM agrees with the report’s finding that a reformed international tax system is needed. We welcome the involvement of an organisation with truly universal membership such as the United Nations in such an undertaking. |
We do so, Mr. Vice President, because in the past, decisions taken by the few have caused enormous harm to many small island developing states like ours.. we cannot support actions such as “de-risking” and blacklists, which imperil economies and livelihoods in well-regulated jurisdictions like those of CARICOM countries.”
|Egypt||2022||Link||“3. In light of the growth of international trade and digital economy, the idea of establishing an international tax system has become crucial. Nonetheless, creating such a system must be based on consultation with all member states of the United Nations, and not on a mechanism discussed between a limited number of countries, such as the G20 countries.”|
|South Africa||2022||Link||“South Africa supports the proposal for Governments to consider using taxation to reduce extreme inequalities in wealth. As a member of the G77, we also believe that there should be an international tax treaty based at the UN as it would cover all countries.”|
|India||2022||Link||“While the work of this Committee is extremely important, it cannot substitute genuine multilateralism in deciding global standards on international taxation, where all countries have an equal voice. An intergovernmental body with universal membership is essential for more effective implementation of tax standards and norms and for the effective implementation of the 2030 agenda. The UN is the only forum which can provide this platform..”|
|Africa Group||2022||Link||“the African Group strongly believe on the urgent need to establish a universal, UN intergovernmental tax body and negotiate a UN Tax Convention to comprehensively address tax havens, tax abuse by multinational corporations and other illicit financial flows through a truly universal, intergovernmental process at the UN, with broad rights holders’ participation.”|
|G77 and China||2022||Link||“The Group is concerned that there is still no single global inclusive forum for tax cooperation at the intergovernmental level. The Group reiterates its call for the full upgrade of the Committee of Experts in Tax Matters to a UN intergovernmental body, with experts representing their respective governments.”|
|India||2022||Link||“While the work of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters is very important, it cannot substitute for genuine multilateralism in deciding global standards on international taxation. We support calls for this body to be upgraded to a UN intergovernmental body with universal membership, for more effective implementation of tax standards and norms.”|
|South Africa||2022||Link||“Faster and more tangible action is needed to combat these flows, as a matter of urgency. To this end the recommendation of the FACTI Panel for a UN Tax Convention is of paramount importance.”|
|African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)||2022||Link||“Calls upon the United Nations to begin negotiations under its auspices on an international convention on tax matters, with the participation of all States members and relevant stakeholders, aimed at eliminating base erosion, profit shifting, tax evasion, including of capital gains tax, and other tax abuses.”|
|Bahamas||2022||Link||We see an indispensable role for the UN in leveraging its universal jurisdiction for greater oversight of global anti-money laundering, de-risking and tax co-operation matters. |
Sadly, little to nothing has changed.
Just yesterday, the OECD issued a statement, placing The Bahamas on their blacklist.
This action is profoundly unfair.
When we look at the countries that are flagged as high risk and blacklisted, several startling commonalities emerge.
Why is it that European states that operate frameworks akin to that of high-risk or blacklisted countries, are not even eligible for inclusion on these lists?
Why are all the countries targeted – all of them – small and vulnerable, and former colonies of European states?
We find it astounding that the $2-$3 trillion dollars which is estimated to be laundered each year through the developed countries, are never flagged as causes for concern.
And yet my country, which is widely recognized as one of the best-regulated countries in the world, and other countries like The Bahamas, are singled-out for such reputational attacks? The robust regulatory regimes of our Central Bank, Securities Commission, and Insurance
Commission, are chastised on minor details of technical process, while much bigger transgressions in the developed world are ignored.
The evidence is mounting, that the considerations behind these decisions have less to do with compliance, and more to do with darker issues of pre-judged, discriminatory perceptions.
Black-governed countries also matter.