taxation

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.

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

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.