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Build Your House on Your Own Pillars: Key Issues for Developing Countries at the OECD Inclusive Framework Negotiations on the Taxation of the Digital Economy

Key Issues for Developing Countries at the OECD Inclusive Framework Negotiations on the Taxation of the Digital Economy

15 June 2021, 13:00 – 15:00 (CET)

The South Centre and the Global Alliance for Tax Justice invite you to a webinar titled Build Your House on Your Own Pillars: Key Issues for Developing Countries at the OECD Inclusive Framework Negotiations on the Taxation of the Digital EconomyThe webinar will feature prominent voices of the Global South, including negotiators in the Inclusive Framework, who will share their views on the key issues for developing countries in the “Two Pillar Approach” on taxing the digitalized economy. It seeks to introduce a new taxing right in Pillar One focused on reforms to existing nexus and profit allocation rules, while Pillar Two is focused on a global minimum tax. The Two Pillar approach aims to introduce new elements into international taxation, such as limited formulary apportionment, multilateral dispute resolution and the allocation of taxing rights through a multilateral agreement. There are several pending issues which need resolution and are of importance to developing countries.

The webinar will be a panel discussion followed up with a Question-and-Answer session.

Registration: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAlcuGrrDwoE9YjHBEhFvPPgTRl17BO-HtF

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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 ngocsdvienna.org.

Reforming the International Trading System for Recovery, Resilience and Inclusive Development

Reforming the International Trading System for Recovery, Resilience and Inclusive Development

The COVID-19 crisis has revealed the vulnerability of countries, especially developing countries. Against this backdrop, building back better cannot simply be about doubling down on pre-pandemic policies or “back to business as usual.” The current health and economic crises which have disproportionately affected the developing world should instead spark a fundamental rethink of global productive structures and the architecture of international trade, including international trade rules.

Building back better post Covid-19 must speak to a recovery strategy that is undergirded by a new paradigm and reform agenda that places inclusivity at the centre and moves towards a future of equitable, and shared growth and development consistent with the overdue sustainable development goals (SDGs). More importantly, such a recovery strategy should promote diversification of productive capacities of developing countries, propel transformation into higher productivity sectors, and foster resilience to future shocks.

The confluence of an economic, health and climate crisis offers a unique opportunity to revive multilateralism and mutually resolve the antagonisms that have increasingly afflicted the international trading system over the last decades.

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_nbpjGdYVSQuWOzc7NnSWTw

PROGRAM

Moderator: Ambassador Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter, South African Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organisation

Presentation: UNCTAD Research Paper No. 65 on Reforming the International Trading System for Recovery, Resilience and Inclusive Development – Richard Kozul-Wright, Director in the Division of Globalization and Development Strategies, UNCTAD

Panelists:

  • Anna CavazziniMember, European Parliament
  • Rashmi Banga, Senior Economist in the Division of Globalization and Development Strategies, UNCTAD
  • Rob Davies, former Minister of Trade and industry of South Africa (2009-2019)
  • Yang Yao, Director of China Center for Economic Research and Dean of National School of Development, Beijing University 

Question & Answer Session

Closing remarks: Ambassador Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter

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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-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org.

UNCTAD15 civil society discussion on frontier technologies, the digital economy and development

Join us for a pre-event on the road to UNCTAD15. This discussion is the second part of a series of online discussions with civil society held in preparation for the UNCTAD15 ministerial conference.

The dialogue aims to raise awareness of civil society representatives on the issues of technology transfer, e-commerce and the digital economy. The outcome of the session will be presented to member states as part of the intergovernmental preparatory process for UNCTAD15. Find out more here.

The event is open to the public, but registration is mandatory. Register here!

Questions for discussion

Technology transfer

  • What would be the elements of an agenda for technology transfer that include civil society’s concerns and aspirations?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities that frontier technologies can bring?
  • What are the mechanisms to accelerate technology transfer and ensure that it benefits the most disadvantaged communities?

E-commerce and digital economy

  • What would be the elements of an agenda for the deployment of e-commerce and digital economy in developing countries that include civil society’s concerns and aspirations?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities that frontier technologies can bring?
  • What are the mechanisms to accelerate the adoption of e-.commerce and digital economy, ensuring that they benefit the most disadvantaged communities?

Programme

Opening remarks:

  • Ms. Shamika Sirimanne, Director, Division on Technology and Logistics, UNCTAD

Keynote address on the agenda for technology transfer that includes civil society’s concerns and aspirations:

  • Ms. Neth Daño, Coordinator and Asia Director ETC Group, the Philippines

Keynote address on mechanisms to accelerate the adoption of e-commerce and the digital economy leaning no one behind:

  • Mr. Parminder Jeet Singh, Executive Director, IT for Change

Followed by an Interactive dialogue with civil society representatives:

  • Moderated by Ms. Chee Yoke Ling, Third World Network

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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 Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. 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 ngocsdvienna.org

Special session of the General Assembly on challenges and measures to prevent and combat corruption and strengthen international cooperation

Special session of the General Assembly on challenges and measures to prevent and combat corruption and strengthen international cooperation

United Nations Headquarters, June 2-4, 2021,

For the upcoming General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) against Corruption, kindly note the following guidelines for NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC, as per resolutions 73/191 and 74/276, as well as decisions 74/568 and 75/562 entitled “Special session of the General Assembly against corruption”:

  • According to Paragraph 2 (d) of UN General Assembly resolution 74/276, representatives of non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council are invited to participate in the special session in accordance with the established practice of the General Assembly.
  • In line with this paragraph, the representatives of non-governmental organizations in consultative status with ECOSOC are invited to register to participate in the special session by Wednesday, 5 May 2021, until 5:00 p.m. Proceedings of the special session will be webcast and all ECOSOC accredited NGOs will be provided by DESA with the link to the UN Web TV, where the proceedings of the special session can be virtually followed live. Additional information related to the special session can also be accessed in advance through the website of the Office of the President of the General Assembly (https://www.un.org/pga/75/special-session-against-corruption/) which will be regularly updated.
  • Additionally, as per paragraph 2 (c) of resolution 74/276,  plenary meetings of the special session shall include “statements by […] and, time permitting, a limited number of representatives from relevant organizations attending the special session, in line with subparagraphs (d) and (e) below, selected by the President of the General Assembly, in consultation with Member States, with due regard for geographical balance and gender equity…”
  • Should your organization also wish to be considered for making a statement at the plenary meeting, time permitting and if selected in accordance with the General Assembly resolution 74/276, please indicate your interest to DESA by no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, 5 May 2021

*Please note that this indication does not guarantee a speaking opportunity. Only a limited number of representatives from relevant organizations, selected by the President of the General Assembly in accordance with resolution 74/276 will be contacted in due course.

  • As per subparagraph (a) of General Assembly decision 75/562,  those who are invited to participate in line with paragraphs 2 (d) and (e) of its resolution 74/276, may submit a pre-recorded statement, which would be played in the General Assembly Hall after introduction by the President of the General Assembly at the special session.

To register their interest, NGOs are therefore invited to do so at: https://indico.un.org/event/35977/ by no later than Wednesday, 5 May 2021, by 5:00 pm.

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

COVID-19 and the Increasing Risks of Substandard and Falsified Pharmaceutical Products in Africa

Dear CoNGO members,

I am delighted to get in touch with you for the first time since the Brazzaville Foundation’s membership in November 2020 to the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO).

On the occasion of the upcoming World Health Assembly and Africa Day, the Brazzaville Foundation is pleased to invite you to an online high-level roundtable on Tuesday 25th May to discuss “Covid-19 and the Increasing Risks of Substandard and Falsified Pharmaceutical Products in Africa: A public health and security issue”. High-level speakers are expected such as Prof. Moustafa Mijiyawa, Minister of Health of the Republic of Togo; Michel Sidibé, African Union Special Envoy for the African Medicines Agency (AMA) and Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

If you are interested in taking part in global health and security discussions, please register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Z0sYZHfPQnWICzmnQY2r0g. Simultaneous translation will be available in French/English.

We are eager to share this event with you and we look forward to collaborating together in the future.

Best regards,

Richard Amalvy, Chief Executive, The Brazzaville Foundation

À l’occasion de la 74e Assemblée mondiale de la Santé et de la Journée de l’Afrique, la Fondation Brazzaville réunira des intervenants de haut niveau pour discuter des enjeux de santé publique et de sécurité liés aux risques croissants des médicaments falsifiés et de qualité inférieure dans le contexte de la pandémie de la COVID-19. Traduction simultanée en français/anglais.

Background notes:

Poor-quality medicines can be both falsified and substandard:

  • Falsified medicines are deliberately fake medical products. Criminals manufacture, traffic and sell fake products to unsuspecting customers.
  • Substandard medicines can be the result of poor manufacturing and quality-control practices in the manufacture or distribution of the product.

Poor-quality medicines lead to death and illness:

  • Both fake and substandard medicines pose a threat to public health because they can lead to death, additional illness in individuals, the spread of disease within a community and antibiotic resistance.
  • The link between the traffic in falsified medicines and organised crime has been well established by intelligence services and law enforcement agencies. They are smuggled onto markets using the same routes and techniques as drug, weapon, or human trafficking.
  • Transnational organised crime also funds terrorism, destabilising countries and weakening state structures.

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

Accelerating Digital Transformation of Government Services

World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2021

This session will provide a platform for high-level dialogue between the representatives of international and regional organizations, government, civil society, and private sector, on the challenges and possible solutions, including the offering of GovStack initiative, that aims at accelerating digitalization of the governmental services across the world.

Register here: itu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_4waiI4cJTRCpn5f8M6jdWg

Digital government services are vital for developing a digital economy that benefits all citizens by expanding access to critical services such as health, education, and social protection. Countries seeking to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the next ten years are increasingly looking to national digital strategies and agendas to transform the way they do business and improve the lives of their citizens. Current challenges to digital government include lack of coordination, the habit of working in siloes, funding constraints, and the absence of scalable solutions, all posing significant constraints to digital transformation in government. Amid the increasing pressure to act, countries do not have the time nor the luxury to reinvent the wheel or review fragmented and duplicated investments. This further increases costs and inefficiencies.

A “Whole-of-Government” platform approach to developing government services through the reuse and minimal customization of quick and easy to adopt building blocks is at the heart of the success of digital government services projects. Open-source models for a government platform that is built from modular and reusable components, leveraging a secure and standards-based approach, are an optimal solution to solving these issues in a cost-efficient and scalable manner.

This session will provide a platform for high-level dialogue between the representatives of international and regional organizations, government, civil society, and private sector, on the challenges and possible solutions, including the offering of GovStack initiative, that aims at accelerating digitalization of the governmental services across the world.

For more information, full agenda, and the list of panelists: itu.int/net4/wsis/forum/2021/Agenda/Session/416

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CoNGO Notes: CoNGO is a civil society focal point with the WSIS Forum. See former CoNGO President, Cyril Ritchie, in this interview with ITU: youtube,com/watch?v=cYA8UauD28UFor 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 ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.

Digital and Financial Inclusion: Pathways to promote an inclusive Post-COVID-19 socio-economic recovery

Virtual side event during the 2021 ECOSOC FfD Forum on Financing for Development

Date & time: April 12 from 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm EST

Register in advance for this meeting (by 5:00pm EST on April 11): https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpcOGopj4tE9OFujGTOC3FTT_-z2aMJ0Sr

World Bank data (September 2020) indicates that 212 countries have planned, introduced, or put in place 1179 safety net payments and other social protection measures for the most vulnerable populations. But reports also show that digital exclusion and lack of access to a bank account, in the form of a transactional or savings account or a digital wallet, continues to pose immense challenges for those in marginalized communities, especially women youth, refugees, and migrant workers in the informal sector, to recoup benefits from government relief measures such as cash transfers and subsidies, the very measures intended to help tide them over, in a quick and timely manner. Women continue to face widespread barriers to financial inclusion. Globally, of the 1.7 billion people that remain unbanked, meaning they do not hold an account at a bank or a mobile bank provider, approximately 1 billion are women and in developing countries. The 9% gender gap that existed over the last decade continues to persist.

While businesses are increasingly offering consumers the option to transact through online and mobile platforms, two major barriers prevent consumers from adopting these digital options: lack of internet connectivity (digital exclusion) and or lack of a bank account to receive or make payments (financial exclusion). In addition, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) face considerable challenges in accessing digital financial services and credit, inclusive insurance schemes and online payment systems and retail platforms that will be keys for their survival in the post-COVID era.

Digital financial inclusion is ever more critical for marginalized communities, especially women, youth, refugees and informal migrant workers, to recover from the crisis and to ensure the survival and sustainability of MSMEs. Long-term risks and barriers of entry, including lack of access to Smartphone services due to marginalized populations’ inabilities to engage in contracts, complex lending practices, especially among women, poor digital literacy and financial literacy and numeracy skills, and lack of valid identification for refugees forced to leave all personal possessions behind, to name but a few, are significant obstacles that could cause more harm than good if not effectively managed. The Global community must act now to bridge the gaps and barriers restricting the world’s most vulnerable populations from meeting their financial needs.

Implementing appropriate regulatory measures in a timely manner is essential for consumer protection and to ensure the funds reach those whom it is intended for. In the July 1, 2020 Special Series Notes on COVID-19 of the International Monetary Fund, experts noted that while the need for social distancing has put a spotlight on digital financial services, scaling up too fast in times of crisis without appropriate regulatory mechanisms could pose a risk to stability and integrity.

The panel will explore the interlinkages between financial and digital inclusion, innovative advancement in fintech and digital infrastructure to advance last-mile connectivity and address the challenges to financial inclusion faced by marginalized communities and MSMEs, as well as propose measures to address regulatory challenges, and disparities in broadband connectivity.

Panelists:

  • Member State representative (TBC)
  • Ms. Lois, Bruu, Vice President, Humanitarian and Development, Master Card Speaking on innovative initiatives to advance digital financial inclusion for marginalized communities, especially women, and MSMEs and recommendations to address financial, economic, structural, and regulatory barriers to advancing financial inclusion for all
  • Ms. Purva Khera, Economist, International Monetary Fund Interlinkages between digital and financial inclusion, financing challenges and advancement in fintech to address the challenges faced by MSMEs and marginalized communities, including women
  • Mr. Jon Frost, Senior Economist, Innovation and the Digital Economy unit, MED, Bank for International Settlements Risks and emerging concerns around digital finance that could work contrary to goals to help marginalized communities
  • Representative from civil society speaking on an innovative initiative/s to ensure reliable broadband connectivity for advancing digital financial services, including last-mile connectivity (TBC)
  • Ms. Lydia Charles, Founder and Executive Director, Her Initiative, Tanzania Challenges to financial and digital inclusion at the grassroots level, especially for women, and steps to take to address these challenges.

Moderator: Anita Thomas, Representative to the UN, Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund (DBA Women First International Fund); Chair, NGO Committee on Financing for Development

Co-sponsors:

Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund, Sisters of Charity Federation, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Loreto Generalate, Global Foundation for Democracy and Development, New Humanity for the Focolare Movement, Salesian Missions Inc, Change Management Solutions, Startnoo

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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-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org

Global Alliance for the Rights of Older Persons’ workshop for the 11th Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing session (OEWG11)

The Global Alliance for the Rights of Older Persons (GAROP) and the NGO Committee on Ageing-NY are pleased to invite you to a workshop for the 11th virtual Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing session (OEWG11) on Thursday, March 25, 2021 – 7:00 – 9:00 EST (12:00-14:00 CET)

This preparatory event will be hosted with support by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA).

Objectives of the meeting:

  • To build a common understanding of the current status of the OEWG process
  • To discuss our shared goals for the outcomes of OEWG11
  • To agree on collective action that NGOs can take throughout the week

Working language: The workshop will be run in English and there will be no interpretation provided. We are planning to have some breakout sessions and chat information accommodate French and Spanish speakers during the workshop.

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUrcOqurDgqGtYpv8a1l9hmk3UpeWbUaen6

Draft Programme:

Welcome and opening remarks

  • Acknowledgements – Dr. Kiran Rabheru (Chair, GAROP) & Dr. Cynthia Stuen (Chair, NGO COA-NY)
  • Opening remarks – Ambassador Squeff, Chair of the OEWG

Scene-setting and connecting

  • Updates about the session (Amal Abou Rafeh, UNDESA)
  • Q&A

Developments since OEWG10

  • Intersessional events/outcomes
  • COVID-19 and political momentum

Breakout rooms: English / French / Spanish

Preparing our strategy for participation in OEWG11

  • Expectations and objectives for the session
  • Ways in which civil society can participate and have impact:
    • Visibility
      • Age With Rights and social media
      • Side events
    • Reviewing the timetable for the week ahead

Contacts: Susan Somers, NGO Committee on Ageing NY: sbsomers5@aol.com and/or Ellen Graham, GAROP Coordinator: ellen.graham@rightsofolderpeople.org

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-NY, please visit ngocoa-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Vienna, please visit ngoageingvie.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva, please visit ageingcommitteegeneva.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com.

UN Webinar on the COVID-19 Impact on Transfer Pricing

The COVID-19 outbreak is not only a health crisis, but a jobs crisis, a humanitarian crisis and a development crisis of unprecedented scale and dimension and it demands unprecedented efforts, including to finance the response and recovery.

The UN Webinar on the COVID-19 Impact on Transfer Pricing will be a 4-hour virtual learning event on the COVID-19 pandemic impact on the policy and administrative aspects of the transfer pricing analyses for developing countries in their efforts to mobilize domestic resources for response and recovery. Given the relevance of the topic to stakeholders from all regions and multiple disciplines, the event will be open to the public. The forthcoming update of the Manual on Transfer Pricing for Developing Countries, approved by UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters in its 21st Session, will be considered in light of the COVID-19-related crisis.

Register here!

The webinar is designed to:

• Give participants a better understanding of how the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted business’ value chains and how the rapid changes and economic downturn have impacted the transfer pricing position of taxpayers and posed a challenge to tax administrations in assessing transfer prices under these circumstances.

• Identify some of the specific issues faced by developing countries on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the transfer pricing position of their taxpayers and suggest practical solutions to these challenges.

• Give particular attention to the issue of the lack of local comparables to undertake the transfer pricing analysis based on the arm’s length principle. It is acknowledged that this issue is not exclusive of the COVID-19 pandemic, but has been exacerbated by it.

• It is acknowledged that while many businesses have incurred losses, some may have experienced extraordinary gains. It is important for developing countries to identify these different circumstances and have a better understanding of how to deal with extraordinary losses, as undue treatment of losses can further erode the tax base.

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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 ngocsdvienna.org

[Monthly Meeting] NGO Committee on Financing for Development

Dear Colleagues,

We hope all of you are doing well.  This is a reminder for the next NGO Committee on Financing for Development meeting that will take place by Zoom on March 3 from 1:00- 3:00 pm EST.

Registration for access to the Zoom link available here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0td-GspjsrHtfM9kwJmPggiJiHQMwHdCKc

Agenda includes:

  • Philipp Erfurth, Economic Affairs Officer, UN Financing for Sustainable Development Office will be providing a briefing on FfD matters
  • Briefing on the International Rescue Committee report “COVID-19 and Refugees’ Economic Opportunities, Financial Services and Digital Inclusion”
  • Anneleen Vos | Senior Policy Officer – Economic Programmes, International Rescue Committee and Prof Dr Hans-Martin Zademach , Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt in Germany

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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 Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org.

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