Paul L. Caron

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Brooklyn Hosts Discussion Today On A Global UN Tax Convention And Human Rights

Brooklyn hosts a Discussion on a Global UN Tax Convention and Human Rights today from 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM EST. 

On the margins of the UN General Assembly, the UN Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights is convening a side event with the general aim of deepening discussions around the content of her thematic report, including the recommendations therein. More specifically, this side event will focus on:

  • Further discussing the current issues plaguing the international tax architecture;
  • Examining in detail the recommendations of creating a global UN led tax convention and a global tax body using a human rights lens.



  • Stephanie Blankenburg (UN Conference on Trade and Development)
  • Steven Dean (Brooklyn)
  • Global Alliance for Tax Justice 
  • OECD 
  • Permanent Representative of the Argentine Republic 

One of the most important yet often understated roles of fiscal policy is to deliver on the human rights obligations of States towards their populations. Unequal revenue collection within and between countries is partially a cause for the uneven wealth distribution that has compounded pre-existing economic and social inequalities.

To close the social protection gap alone as of 2022, lower-and middle-income countries require an estimated additional financing of USD 751 billion and USD 363 billion annually. 

The loopholes in the global financial system have exacerbated these inequalities giving rise to a system where the richest 10 per cent of the global population account for 52 per cent of global income, whereas the poorest half of the population account for 8 per cent. The pervasiveness of tax-related illicit financial flows has affected the ability of low-income countries to mitigate climate emergencies and the long-term impacts of the pandemic including their ability to recovery from it. As wealthier individuals and multinational companies continue to engage in shifting profits and reporting incomes in low-tax offshore jurisdictions, there is a need to strengthen capacities of States to combat illicit financial flows.

By the beginning of 2022, 3 out of 5 low-income countries were either facing a high risk of or were already in debt distress.

Mobilizing tax resources can enable States to addressing issues of debt unsustainability, including much needed social and economic structural reforms that impact the fiscal realization of human rights. Thus, international cooperation and assistance remain crucial towards combatting illicit financial flows between States and developing multilateral responses and equitable solutions that are rights aligned.

It is in this context that the UN Independent Expert on debt, other international financial obligations and human rights, Ms. Attiya Waris, devoted her 2022 report (A/77/169) on the issue of a global fiscal architecture using a human rights lens, to be presented to the 77th session of UN General Assembly. This report makes recommendations in relation to, among others, international tax cooperation included working towards a multilateral regime for tax transparency, strengthening automatic exchange of information frameworks, adopt country-by-country reporting standards for transnational organizations, establishing national public registries to improve beneficial ownership transparency and ensuring effective participation of developing countries in the international fora.

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