tax justice

Multi-year Expert Meeting on Trade, Services and Development

The ninth session of the Multi-year Expert Meeting on Trade, Services and Development will be held with physical and remote participation from 4 to 6 July 2022. The substantive topic of the session is the evolving landscape of digital trade in services.

Participation and Registration:

Member States are invited to nominate experts from the public and/or private sectors. Nominated experts are encouraged to participate in all sessions of the Multi-year Expert Meeting on Trade, Services and Development to ensure continuity. Each State is encouraged to nominate up to five experts to participate remotely. This session is open to all member States of UNCTAD. Other organizations, including specialized agencies, intergovernmental bodies and non-governmental organizations in the general and special categories, as well as academia, research institutions and the private sector, may participate as observers.

Online registration is mandatory for all those wishing to attend the meeting and is required in order to be included in the list of participants. Please register for this session at indico.un.org/event/1000971/.

Registration requires uploading an official letter of nomination to represent an organization at this meeting. For government representatives, a note verbale or an email from the permanent mission in Geneva will suffice. Further inquiries regarding registration should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Outreach and Support Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10; email: meetings@unctad.org and tncdb@unctad.org.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit congocsd.wordpress.com.

Understanding the Impact of SDG Investments by Refining Sustainability Reporting

2022 Financing for Development Forum side event: Understanding the impact of SDG investments by refining sustainability reporting

Thursday, 28 April, 8 am to 9 am (EST)

This event is being held as part of the programme for the SDG Investment Fair. For registration, please visit this link.

For more information about the Fair, visit un.org/development/desa/financing/events/april-2022-sdg-investment-fair.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com

Enhancing MDBs as Catalyzers of Private Finance

2022 FfD Forum side event: Enhancing MDBs as catalyzers of private finance

Wednesday, 27 April, 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm (EDT)

This event is being held as part of the programme for the SDG Investment Fair. For registration, please visit this link.

For more information about the Fair, visit https://www.un.org/development/desa/financing/events/april-2022-sdg-investment-fair.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

Exploring Digital Finance’s Real Promises and Challenges for Development

Exploring Digital Finance’s Real Promises and Challenges for Development

Join the NGO Committee on Financing for Development on Wednesday, 27 April 2022, 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. EDT for this official side event to the 2022 ECOSOC Financing for Development Forum.

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0qc-6orjsuGdFhyWHfljp7ZNxV526Onoc7

Speakers:

  • Ms. Cina Lawson, Minister of Digital Economy and Transformation of the Republic of Togo (TBC)
  • Dr. Purva Khera, Economist, International Monetary Fund
  • Mr. Johannes Ehrentraud, Senior Advisor, Financial Stability Institute, Bank for International Settlements
  • Ms. Sofie Blakstad, CEO of hiveonline and author of Fintech Revolution: Universal Inclusion in the New Financial Ecosystem
  • Ms. Anneleen Vos, Seionr Economic Policy Officer, International Rescue Committee
  • Mr. Prabhat Labh, CEO, Grameen Foundation India
  • Ms. Mercy Buku, Program Leader, Toronto Center

Moderator: Mx. Anita Thomas, Chair, NGO Committee on FfD, Representative to the UN, Women First International Fund

Co-sponsors: ManUp Campaign, Change Management Solutions, Sisters of Charity Foundation, African Development Interchange Network, IBVM

Background:

The UN Secretary General’s task force on digital finance in its report titled “People’s Money: Harnessing Digitalization to Finance a Sustainable Future,” spells out the transformational impact digital finance can have on sustainable development. Providing relief for millions around the world, supporting businesses, and protecting jobs and livelihoods, digital finance served as a lifeline during the COVID-19 pandemic. A World Bank tally of policy responses to the pandemic finds that at least 58 governments in developing countries used digital payments to deliver COVID-19 relief, of which 36 countries made payments into fully transactional accounts that were being used for saving beyond simply withdrawing cash. According to the GSMA, international remittances processed via mobile money increased by 65 percent in 2020.

Proponents of digital finance highlight its strong capabilities to reduce transaction costs, the potential of Artificial Intelligence to provide fair and equitable treatment of credit applicants, and the scalability of cloud technology, through the use of blockchain technology, to allow consumers to transact remotely and seamlessly across multiple platforms.

While the experience of COVID-19 has proven that digitalization can transform economies and lives, it needs to be shaped with both its advantages and potential risks in mind in order to bring everyone into the digital age. For technology to benefit everyone, private sector innovation must be supported by the appropriate public goods such as the public provision of foundational infrastructure, access to electricity, mobile and internet coverage.

As in the case of any disruptive technology, without combining technological advances with sound policy measures, digital technology cannot deliver on its potential to meaningfully advance financial inclusion for everyone, including the more than 2 billion unbanked people globally. Delivering on promises to advance financial inclusion can only be considered meaningful when the account holder has a fully functional account that they utilize to save, make payments, obtain manageable credit, and mitigate economic risks and is simply not utilized to withdraw cash from cash transfers from the government, which is overwhelmingly the case at this time.

By examining successful strategies that maximize digital finance’s potential while minimizing risks to the financial sector, government revenues, and at-risk populations, attendees will gain a better understanding of how digital finance can sustainably advance development objectives.

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CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on Financing for Development is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations.

Financing for Universal and Crisis-Responsive Social Protection and Decent Work: Proposals of 2021 UN Inter-Agency Working Group

Join the NGO Committee on Financing for Development on Tuesday, April 26, from 8 – 9:30am EST for an official side event of the 2022 ECOSOC Financing for Development Forum on Financing for Universal and Crisis-Responsive Social Protection and Decent Work: Proposals of 2021 UN Inter-Agency Working Group

Speakers:

  • H.E. Mr. Phillippe Kridelka, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Belgium to the United Nations
  • Mr. Helmut Schwarzner, Senior Social Security Specialist for the Americas, Social Protection Department, ILO Geneva
  • Mr. David Stewart, Chief of Child Strategy and Social Protection, UNICEF
  • Dr. Santosh Mehrotra, Research Fellow, IZA Institute of Labor Economics, Bonn, Germany
  • Ms. Tikhala Itaye, Director, Global Movement Building, Women in Global Health

Moderator: Dr. Barry Herman, Member Advisory Board, Social Justice in Global Development

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYsfuqqrjwiHtLVutntuRo0xgsa9K_vEKxP

Co-sponsors: Vivat International, Women First International Fund, Salesian Missions, International Labour Organization, World Vision, Social Justice in Global Development

Background: Social protection refers to assuring a basic income floor and access to basic healthcare throughout the life cycle. It should be provided universally to all people in need, but that is far from current practice. While decent jobs, including self-employment, are mainly in the private economy, meeting the qualifications for most jobs usually requires education and good health, which are primarily public service functions. Thus, programs to promote social protection and decent jobs entail adequate, effective, and fair national systems of taxation, complemented by international assistance, often in the form of technical assistance but also sometimes in aid-financed budget support, as for low-income countries.

The experience of the pandemic laid bare inadequate systems to deliver cash transfers to compensate for the economic costs of the crisis and inadequate public health systems to deliver vaccines, tests, and protective equipment, along with the very limited capacity, especially in developing countries, to maintain employment during the crisis-induced economic contraction. The pandemic experience requires us to think about preparing better “shock responsive” social protection and health systems and stronger counter-cyclical policies. Preparation, in turn, requires consideration of ways to mobilize the necessary domestic and international financial resources on an ongoing basis and with the capacity to meet the higher expenditure needs at times of crisis.

While the inter-agency report concluded with 21 separate proposals, speakers in the side event will be asked to discuss one or more of the proposals. There is no expectation that all 21 proposals would be covered, nor is that necessary. What is necessary is to bring the attention of the FfD Follow-up Forum for consideration by policymakers the work of the 16 cooperating agencies in the task force and the civil society, labor, employer, and youth stakeholders that were consulted in preparing the report.

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CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on Financing for Development is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations.

ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development

The ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development follow-up (FfD Forum) is an intergovernmental process with universal participation mandated to review the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (Addis Agenda) and other financing for development outcomes and the means of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The event brings together heads of state and government, ministers and high-level government officials as well as senior officials of international organizations. Civil society organizations, the business sector and local authorities will also be represented.

Additional information on preparations for the Forum, including the programme, outcome, substantive background, stakeholder participation and side events, will be made available here: un.org/development/desa/financing/what-we-do/ECOSOC/financing-development-forum/FFD-forum-home

The UN does not charge a fee for registration and participation. For any questions, please contact the Financing for Sustainable Development Office at ffdforum@un.org.

Register here: un.org/development/desa/financing/what-we-do/ECOSOC/financing-development-forum/registration

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org.

UN Commission on Population and Development

2022 theme: Population and sustainable development, in particular sustained, inclusive economic growth

For full program, background information, and related links, please visit  https://www.un.org/development/desa/pd/events/CPD55.

Bureau members (fifty-fifth session/2022):

  • H.E. Ambassador Enrique A. Manalo (Republic of the Philippines) – Asia-Pacific Group (Chair)
  • Mr. Andrei Nicolenco (Republic of Moldova) – Eastern European Group (Vice-Chair)
  • Ms. Sara Offermans (Netherlands) – Western European and Others Group (WEOG) (Vice-Chair-designate)
  • Ms. Mayra Lisseth Sorto (El Salvador) – Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC) (Vice-Chair-designate)
  • Mr. Antonin Bieke (Côte d’Ivoire) – African Group (AG) (Vice-Chair-designate)

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit congocsd.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-New York, please visit ngocsd-ny.org

Revisiting Financing for Development

In preparing to mark the 20th  anniversary of the first United Nations International Conference on Financing for Development held in Monterrey, Mexico in March 2002, a process that promised so much, it is only prudent to reflect on the history of the Financing for Development (FfD) processes, especially considering the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on efforts to curb the widening of the gap between the rich and poor, both within and among countries. During these trying times, the poor and the most vulnerable are left at the mercy of ineffective regional and global policies. We are also witnessing the erosion of personal freedoms, even within the so-called bastions of democracy. Individual and corporate greed seems to be dictating the direction of these financial policies.

In light of the pandemic and a looming global recession, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sounded the alarm: “We must act quickly and decisively to protect people and strengthen societies in the face of this shock, which comes on top of a global climate emergency, soaring inequality and growing discontent with the economic and social order in general.”

The premise of the FfD process has been to eradicate poverty, achieve sustained economic growth and promote sustainable development in an inclusive and equitable global economic system. There needs to be a systemic transformation of the global financial architecture and global division of labor towards achieving a just, green, equitable and gender-sensitive recovery in the current and post-COVID-19 scenario.

Financial regulations that turn a blind eye toward tax-havens are indicators of the extent to which the privatization of wealth has generated today’s culture of shortsightedness. Morality is not arbitrary. The well-being of our planet and its 7.5 billion human inhabitants require a readjustment of perspective that justly distributes wealth, recognizing that shared prosperity sustains life.

As civil society organizations, we have the moral obligation, the responsibility and needed insights, and opportunities to join in advocating to change this narrative. This moment calls for a greater vision of the world that ought to be, than the empty promises of our current global social compact.  This is the time to join forces to remove the malignant growth of addiction to individual/private gain/profit and promote communal gains and wellbeing by advocating for financial structures that support collaboration, transparency, and accountability.

We, as civil society, have the ability and insight to change the narrative. Let us start by reviewing our individual and collective roles and the prospects of the FfD process to invigorate our plan of action to bring about the change for which we have been clamoring.

Register here!

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, an official Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations, please visit ngosonffd.org. Likewise, for more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit congocsd.wordpress.com

UNDESA Panel Discussion and Launch Event for the Handbook on Carbon Taxation for Developing Countries

Dear Colleagues,

We are glad to inform you that the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) will, on 25 October 2021 between 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., host a virtual panel discussion a virtual panel discussion and launch event on “The Handbook on Carbon Taxation for Developing Countries: a tool to advance countries’ decarbonization efforts and contribute to the commitments of the Paris Agreement”.

The informal event will take place on the occasion of the launch of the new UN Handbook on Carbon Taxation for Developing Countries and in preparation of COP26; it is framed in the broader discussion on the UN Tax Committee’s contribution to advancing a Tax and SDGs approach to enhancing international tax cooperation for sustainable development.

The panel will discuss how carbon taxation can be instrumental in the fight against climate change, and support countries’ efforts in fostering economic recovery measures, as part of a global response to the current COVID-19 pandemic-induced multidimensional crisis. Panelists will also analyze the relevance of the Handbook in view of COP26 and how this publication can support countries at all levels of development – and in particular developing countries and countries in special situations – in advancing their decarbonization efforts and meeting their pledges under the Paris Agreement. The detailed agenda of the panel discussion is attached.

The English version of the Handbook will be available in electronic format shortly before the launch event, with French and Spanish versions to follow in the first half of 2022.

The event will be opened by representatives from the United Nations and the donor community. The panel discussion and moderated Q&A with panelists will engage experts from developing countries, regional tax organizations, civil society organizations, academia, civil society and the private sector.

All UN Member States and interested stakeholders are welcome to participate in the event.

Kindly register hereWe look forward to your presence and interaction.

To share your feedback or seek further information about the panel, please contact the International Tax and Development Cooperation Branch, Financing for Sustainable Development Office, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (email: taxcommittee@un.org).

With kind regards,

Navid Hanif

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit congocsd.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

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