STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MS. SAHAR NASSER, FIRST SECRETARY AT MISSION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE TO THE UN, AT THE ECOSOC SPECIAL MEETING ON INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN TAX MATTERS (New York, 29 April 2019)
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2. At the outset, the Group would like to thank you, Madame President, for convening today's special meeting on international cooperation in tax matters.
3. The Group recognizes that international cooperation in tax matters is an important element in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and emphasizes the importance of inclusive cooperation and dialogue among national tax authorities on international tax matters. In this regard, we welcome the work of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters, including its subcommittees.
4. The Group stresses that the most relevant issues in this regard are the challenges posed by the lack of international tax cooperation, the existing illicit financial flows and tax evasion. The Group reiterates that appropriate emphasis must be placed on an enabling global environment and global partnership for development, balanced against the increased emphasis being placed on domestic resource mobilization. The Group also stresses that the continued relevance and necessity of capacity building in the area of tax matters cannot be overstated.
5. In this connection, the Group underlines that it is counterproductive to highlight the importance of domestic resource mobilization in developing countries, while at the same time not robustly tackling issues that impede their ability to capture necessary resources.
6. Furthermore, the Group stresses the importance of scaling up international tax cooperation and combating illicit financial flows in order to mobilize domestic resources for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in its entirety. The Group also stresses the importance of eliminating safe havens that create incentives for the transfer abroad of stolen assets and illicit financial flows, and reiterates its commitment to working to strengthen regulatory frameworks at all levels to further increase transparency and the accountability of financial institutions, the corporate sector and public administrations. The Group further reaffirms its commitment to strengthen international cooperation and national institutions to combat money-laundering and the financing of terrorism and illegal activities.
7. Promoting international cooperation in combatting illicit financial flows remains more relevant than ever in fostering sustainable development. In this context, we urge the Committee and its subcommittees to fulfill the mandate considering new and emerging issues, including illicit financial flows, tax evasion and corruption, with a view to eventually eliminating them through strengthened national regulation and increased international cooperation, taking into account the best practices and lessons learned on tax policy and administration.
8. As to taxation and digitalization of the economy, the digital divide between developed and developing countries is still significant, with the rapid expansion and sectoral spread of digital methods presenting profound challenges to the tax systems of all countries, both developed and developing.
9. In closing, the Group stands ready to engage actively and constructively in order to make the global discourse in tax matters as transparent and inclusive as possible.
I thank you.