Fair and inclusive tax systems are essential in enhancing developing countries’ efforts to strengthen their financial and fiscal policies and accelerating the green transition, the Economic and Social Council heard today, as members held the 2023 Special Meeting on International Cooperation in Tax Matters.
“The world does not have a crisis of resources; it has a crisis of sharing and managing those resources effectively,” said Amina Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General.
Echoing those sentiments, Mathew Gbonjubola, Co-Chairperson of the United Nations Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters to the Economic and Social Council, detailed that body’s work to help countries mobilize domestic resources for sustainable development by broadening their tax base, strengthening tax administration and helping curb tax avoidance and evasion.
Zainab S. Ahmed, Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning of Nigeria, giving her keynote speech via videoconference, expressed concern about the lack of inclusiveness in the development of taxation frameworks.
The Council then held the first of two panels, “Promoting Inclusive And Effective International Tax Cooperation at the United Nations”, with panellists addressing challenges faced by developing countries and detailing strategies to achieve an inclusive and equitable international tax order.
Delegations then shared their country specific perspectives, with Romania’s delegate highlighting the great impact of the war on Ukraine on his country. While countries need to find solutions to so-called “dirty fuels”, they also need to address the energy crisis. Introducing carbon taxation by a small country like Romania is tantamount to “economic suicide” without international backing and outside institutions such as the United Nations, he asserted.
Closing the meeting, Navid Hanif, Assistant Secretary-General, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Development, observed that the demand for more inclusive international tax cooperation reflects deep trust in multilateral solutions.