The areas of UN intervention they go beyond the scope of conflicts between countries. To respect their commandments – “to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations between nations and promote better living conditions” – the United Nations also promotes resolutions in the economic field (here we talked about the alarm raised by the UN about the climate).
This is the case of the latest measure proposed by African countries for rewrite the current tax rules and make them “inclusive and effective”. With a primary focus on the so-called “paradises”, theaters of “abuse by the super rich and multinationals”. Here’s what it consists of.
The UN and African countries against tax havens
The African resolution was voted by a large part of the UN Assembly: with 125 yes, 48 no and 9 abstentions. The goal is to create a framework convention on global taxation. An initiative that also boasts illustrious supporters, the Nobel Prize for Economics Joseph Stiglitz, co-chair of the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation. According to the promoters of the text, the new global tax architecture negotiated by 140 countries at the OECDand agreed two years ago by the G7 and G20, is “ineffective and unfair because it will bring very little benefits to poor and developing countries” (here we talked about the fiscal revolution of the Meloni Government).
Despite the approval by a large majority, the resolution received an unfavorable opinion from very important countries, first of all the global hegemon: the United States. All as expected, given that Washington had not signed the OECD agreement. Clearly the “no” was also unanimous from the EU states, including Italyand from United Kingdom. Furthermore, in the EU, the law will come into force in 2024 15% minimum tax on multinationals. In the opposite camp, that of “yes”, obviously figures Chinaeager to support the rise of African countries with a view to counterglobalization and the dispute with the USA for global dominance.
Alex Cobham, CEO of Tax Justice Network, an independent network that deals with tax equity, spoke of a “historic victory of the countries of the South of the world for the benefit of people all over the world”. Tax havens and corporate lobbyists “have exerted too much influence on the OECD’s global tax policy for too long. Today we begin to take back power over global tax rules that concern us all.” The African Union also rejoices, for which “the ten-year struggle of the countries of the Global South to establish a fully inclusive process at the United Nations, conducted to participate in setting the agenda and rules on international taxation”.
Taxes, even for flat rates, postponement of the second deposit until January: but watch out for exceptions.
What changes now?
Let’s say it straight away: at the moment the resolution does not have the power to guide the policies of individual states regarding taxation. However, the choice to move the issue from the OECD table to that of the UN represents a crucial, almost historic step. Also and above all for another reason: the problem of global tax justice has come to the attention of the Second Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, which deals with global finance and economic issues. A first decisive step towards a UN convention which, yes, would be binding.
The path inaugurated with the promising African resolution, again according to the Tax Justice Network, will break down “the grip that the former colonial powers they continued to exert influence on global tax rules after the dissolution of their empires.” The UN Secretary General also expressed his opinion in favor of the development of a convention on the subject, Antonio Guterres. Much more than a simple signal.