By Hannah Nathan, Warri
African nations have urged the UN to implement a fair and comprehensive worldwide tax system.
The continent declared that to address the historical imbalance in global tax governance and provide a more equal forum for discussion and decision-making, a new framework convention on international tax cooperation was now required.
Dr Chola Milambo, the Permanent Representative of Zambia to the UN and leader of the African Group, stated that the Framework Convention on International Tax Cooperation proposal was more than just a piece of policy; rather, it was a ray of hope for developing nations who have long yearned for a say in establishing global tax laws.
At a press conference held at the UN in New York alongside other permanent representatives, Milambo said that the framework convention that is being suggested would advance inclusivity and fairness in the international tax system.
“Today is an important milestone in our joint effort to create a more just and inclusive global tax system,” he stated. The proposal of a Framework Convention on International Tax Cooperation, a historic endeavour that reflects our shared commitment to equity and inclusivity in the international tax system, represents a major advancement for the African Group.
The current system frequently ignores the particular difficulties and viewpoints of developing countries, which is one of the main flaws in this framework convention. Our plan recognizes the contributions made by current organizations such as the OECD and the OECD and UN Tax Committee, while simultaneously acknowledging their limits in terms of properly representing the interests of every country, especially the developing world.”
He went on to say that the intention behind the proposed framework convention was to guarantee that every nation, no matter how big or how strong, had an equal voice when it came to determining the direction of international tax cooperation.
Milambo explained that more spending potential would be unlocked in vital sectors like healthcare and education, which are crucial for Africa and the Global South, by establishing a more equitable tax system.
“The increased revenue generated will enable us to allocate resources where they are most needed, supporting sustainable growth and development. This approach is encompassed under the umbrella of ‘sustainable development’, ensuring that our initiative directly contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), reflecting our shared commitment to a future where holistic progress and well-being are accessible to all.
“The human aspect of this convention cannot be overstated. By reforming the international financial systems and ensuring fair taxation, we can significantly reduce the strain on international aid. More revenue for the Global South translates to less dependence on Overseas Development Assistance (ODA), fostering a more self-reliant and resilient world economy,” the African Group chair further noted.
Nonetheless, he made a plea for recognition of Africa’s common humanity with its allies, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
He said, “This Convention is a lifeline to millions who aspire for better healthcare, education, and a life of dignity; it is not just a fiscal tool.” Your help is essential to bringing this vision to life.