ECOSOC held a Special Meeting on International Cooperation in Tax Matters, following the 14th session of the UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters.
Discussions highlighted strengthened tax systems as a priority for implementing the 2030 Agenda and AAAA, and discussed the work of the inter-agency Platform for Collaboration on Tax.
7 April 2017: The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) held a Special Meeting on International Cooperation in Tax Matters, highlighting strengthened tax systems as a priority for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA).
The AAAA stresses in particular the role of combatting illicit financial flows (IFFs) and capacity building to collect revenue as key areas to strengthen domestic tax systems.
The meeting took place on 7 April 2017, in New York, US, immediately following the 14th session of the UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters. The annual Special Meeting aims to support dialogue between ECOSOC and the Committee.
Participants cited the Committee’s work in updating the UN Model Double Taxation Convention between Developed and Developing Countries, and its production of an accompanying manual for negotiating bilateral tax treaties, which is a training tool for tax treaty negotiators in developing countries.
The Committee also has prepared a handbook on taxation of extractive industries in developing countries, to be launched in October 2017. Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said taxation of natural resource extraction has a strong effect on countries’ ability to mobilize domestic resources.
In Africa, illicit financial flows total US$50 billion annually, which could be used to advance development.
Participants discussed ways to reduce IFFs and their impact on national sustainable development efforts. South Africa reported that in Africa, IFFs total US$50 billion annually, which could be used to advance development.
Also discussed during the Special Meeting was the work of the inter-agency Platform for Collaboration on Tax, a joint initiative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the UN and the World Bank Group, which aims to facilitate cooperation among the organizations. The Platform plans to prepare capacity-building toolkits for developing countries, and to hold a global conference in February 2018, in New York, US, on taxation and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). [UN Meeting Summary] [DESA News] [Meeting Webpage] [Presentation on Platform] [Inter-agency Platform for Collaboration on Tax Website] [Memo on Meeting between ECOSOC, UNGA Presidents]