Speakers Call for New Innovative Methods of International Tax Cooperation, Reform of Inequitable Global Financial System, as Second Committee Takes Up Reports
Multidimensional macroeconomic crises are stalling or even reversing gains in development and poverty reduction, requiring not only urgent, comprehensive reform of an inequitable global financial system, but also new, innovative international tax cooperation, United Nations experts warned today, as the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) took up that issue.
Sharon Spiegel, director of the Financing for Sustainable Development Office of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, introduced the Secretary-General’s report on the Promotion of inclusive and effective international tax cooperation at the United Nations (document A/78/235). She recalled that the General Assembly has recognized, among other things, the importance of strengthening international tax cooperation, fighting illicit financial flows, and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Enhancing the UN’s role in setting international tax rules may be the most viable path forward, she stressed.
Introducing the Secretary-General’s report on International coordination and cooperation to combat illicit financial flows (document A/78/186), she acknowledged that despite some progress, many challenges remain. Large volumes of resources continue to be lost due to corruption, tax avoidance and tax evasion. The report recommended improving access to and use of data, allowing authorities to better enforce the law, while respecting privacy rights. Developing countries should not remain outside the information-sharing mechanisms of tax, she affirmed.
Turning to the Secretary-General’s report on the International financial system and development (document A/78/178), she cited key developments including that the global financial system is not delivering the stability or the resources needed to achieve the SDGs. The rapid rise in interest rates that led to bank failures has also exacerbated debt vulnerabilities and rising debt service burdens. In 2022, she emphasized, 25 developing countries dedicated more than one‑fifth of total revenue to servicing external public debt, precluding investing in development.
She also presented the Secretary-General’s report on Follow-up to and implementation of the outcomes of the International Conferences on Financing for Development (document A/78/190), recalling that the General Assembly has decided to consider convening in 2025 a fourth International Conference on Financing for Development. Emerging trends risk exacerbating the financing divide, with a rise in climate-related risks among others — putting pressure on countries’ ability to finance themselves.
In the ensuing debate, delegates echoed those warnings and called for comprehensive reform of the outdated and inequitable international financial architecture at every level, from lending to tax cooperation and aid to countries in debt distress.
India’s representative stressed that “twenty-first century problems require twenty-first century solutions”. The present international financial system can no longer address the development needs of the Global South. She urged multilateral development banks to undertake comprehensive efforts to evolve their incentive structures, operational approaches and financial capacities. Domestically, she cited India’s Unified Payments Interface, which has incentivized millions of small vendors to participate in the formal economy.
The representative of Mongolia said that while everyone is in the same boat amid global market turbulence, no boat should be allowed to sink under rising debt levels. Middle-income countries with frontier markets such as his have a larger proportion of floating rate debts in their debt portfolio and are faced with significant increases in their interest costs. Mongolia dramatically expanded its borrowing following its upgrading to lower-middle-income country status in 2012, he said, adding that repayment has, since 2022, placed a heavy strain on the country’s budget.
Jamaica’s representative, speaking for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), stressed that “the global financial system has failed to deliver the financing or stability needed to achieve the SDGs”. Restructuring macroeconomic policies and reimagining financing for development, sustained by enhanced international cooperation, are urgent for small island developing States — along with climate financing and investment.
In that vein, Samoa’s delegate, speaking for the Alliance of Small Island Developing States, reported that her group makes up one-third of the countries with the highest relative annual losses from natural hazards. That damage as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) in those States increased by nearly 90 per cent from 2011 to 2022. She called for a dedicated debt treatment mechanism.
The representative of Tunisia, speaking for the African Group, stated that African countries need to mobilize domestic resources, including through enhancing tax policies to maximize revenues and addressing harmful tax practices that drain necessary resources needed for development. “It is also important to promote taxation of income derived from the provision of cross-border services in an increasingly digitalized and globalized economy,” he affirmed, reiterating the bloc’s call for a convention on international tax cooperation.
Similarly, Colombia’s representative, speaking also for Chile and Mexico, noted that the Secretary-General’s report presents the basis for a constructive discussion on the resolution on “Promoting Inclusive and Effective International Cooperation on Tax Matters at the United Nations”. Developing a framework or instrument for international tax cooperation is the best way to boost the potential of taxes to support development efforts and finance important global issues.
However, pushing back on that narrative, the United States’ representative expressed disappointment that the Secretary-General’s report on inclusive and effective international tax cooperation at the UN did not acknowledge the progress Member States and other parties have made at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). “We should not recreate self-defeating competition in our efforts to solve that problem,” he stressed. Instead, the UN and OECD should collaborate with each other and update the international tax architecture.
Reports were also presented by the Acting Director, Division of International Trade and Commodities, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD); President of the Trade and Development Board; Director of the Economic Analysis and Policy Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs; Acting Director of the Debt and Development Finance Branch in the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies of UNCTAD; Official Statistician, UNCTAD; and Head of Investment Research at the Investment and Enterprise Division of UNCTAD.
The debate was preceded by a brief interactive discussion during which the representatives of Egypt and Japan questioned Ms. Spiegel and Penelope Hawkins, Acting Director of the Debt and Development Finance Branch in the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies of UNCTAD.
The Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. on Friday, 6 October, to address information and communication technology for sustainable development, and globalization and interdependence.
Introduction of Reports
MIHO SHIROTORI, Acting Director, Division of International Trade and Commodities, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), delivering the Secretary-General’s report on International trade and development 2023 (document A/78/230), elaborated on policy areas where Member States’ actions can increase the nexus between trade and more equitable decarbonization outcomes. She pointed to a rapid increase in imports and exports of so-called “environmental goods” used in renewable energy production, water management and treatment, and products to improve resource and energy efficiency. She cited a surge in the share of developing countries in installed renewable energy, as they started to import more environmental goods in the past five years.
“One concern is that the market is heavily concentrated among the top five exporters of environmental goods,” she stated, calling for action to enhance developing countries’ participation in renewable energy supply chains. Stressing that tensions are emerging among World Trade Organization (WTO) members, she noted that leading exporters of environmental goods are opting for a “green industrialization policy” that provides subsidies or other protection for local production of environmental goods and local environmental technology innovation. However, most developing States cannot afford to match richer countries’ expensive green industrialization policies. She called for urgent action to ensure that mineral-rich developing countries leverage the development opportunities offered by the increased demand for critical minerals in the international market.
Turning to the Secretary-General’s report on World Commodity Trends and Prospects (document A/78/231), she noted that since the last report, there has been an increase in commodity prices in the first quarter of 2022 — mainly driven by supply disruptions caused by the onset of the war in Ukraine. The prices of precious metals such as gold also rose as safe-haven assets during economic uncertainties brought about by that crisis. Highlighting concern over food insecurity, she recommended that the Committee may consider mandating further work on supporting net-food importers in building more resilient and diversified food systems. It may further help developing countries move up commodities value chains.
KHALIL UR-RAHMAN HASHMI (Pakistan), President of the Trade and Development Board, said that since the fifteenth session of UNCTAD, the intergovernmental work at the Conference is underpinned by a commitment to the transformation of economies, development financing and multilateralism. He reminded that at the Trade and Development Board’s seventy-third Executive session in February 2023, members agreed on conclusions of the report titled “Least Developed Countries Report 2022: The Low-carbon Transition and its Daunting Implications for Structural Transformation” (to be issued as document A/78/15) that highlighted the disproportionate vulnerability of least developed States. “It was also recognized that green structural transformation should seek to reconcile with higher productivity and higher value-added and out of the commodity-dependence trap,” he stressed, adding that the session also considered the “Trade and Development Report 2022: Development Prospects in a Fractured World — Global Disorder” which contains policy recommendations to reform the international framework for dealing with debt and liquidity access.
He also said that at its seventieth session in June 2023, the Board agreed on certain conclusions on the productive capacities index, a tool designed to guide data-driven and evidence-based policy formulation which was well received by members due to its practical orientation. “As UNCTAD has long affirmed, building, maintaining and utilizing productive capacities is the only route to true, long-lasting development, helping countries to advance towards the achievement of their national development priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals,” he emphasized, recalling that the Board also adopted the policy recommendations from the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on E-commerce and the Digital Economy in May 2023, when the experts called on Governments and other stakeholders to collaborate on inclusive global governance of data. “This is one of the first negotiated texts in the United Nations on the role of data for sustainable development,” he underscored.
Shantanu Mukherjee, Director of the Economic Analysis and Policy Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, introduced the report on “Unilateral economic measures as a means of political and economic coercion against developing countries” (document A/78/506), in line with General Assembly resolution A/RES/76/191, which requested the Secretary-General to continue monitoring the imposition of such measures. In this context, he observed that the number of such measures continued to increase, resulting in 71 with unilateral economic measures against developing countries as of the end of June, representing a 10 per cent increase since the last report on the topic in 2021. He noted a particular rise in the number of targeted unilateral measures imposing restrictions on selected individuals and enterprises in identified States.
A survey on such measures, involving Member States and UN entities, among others, presented divergent views, he said, with some States deeming them admissible in certain circumstances, while most respondents voiced disagreement with them, pointing to their humanitarian and economic impacts. As well, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reported that such measures could have an adverse impact on human rights, he added.
SHARON SPIEGEL, Director of the Financing for Sustainable Development Office of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, introduced the Secretary-General’s report on the Promotion of inclusive and effective international tax cooperation at the United Nations (document A/78/235). She recalled that the General Assembly has recognized the importance of strengthening international tax cooperation, supporting efforts to fight illicit financial flows, increase domestic resource mobilization and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She noted that the report focuses on interlinked criteria of inclusiveness and effectiveness, and that enhancing the UN’s role in setting international tax rules may be the most viable path forward.
Introducing the Secretary-General’s report on International coordination and cooperation to combat illicit financial flows (document A/78/186), she noted that despite some progress, there are many challenges in that domain. Large volumes of resources continue to be lost due to corruption, tax avoidance and tax evasion. In the last year, she noted, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) published new data in the volume of assets frozen, seized, confiscated and returned. The report recommended improving access to and use of data, as information allows authorities to better enforce the law, while respecting privacy rights. Developing countries should not remain outside the information-sharing mechanisms of tax, she stressed.
Turning to the Secretary-General’s report on the International financial system and development (document A/78/178), she noted key developments including that the global financial system is not delivering the stability or the resources needed to achieve the SDGs. The rapid rise in interest rates that led to bank failures has also exacerbated debt vulnerabilities and rising debt service burdens. In 2022, she stressed, 25 developing countries dedicated more than one-fifth of total revenue to servicing external public debt, precluding investing in development. She acknowledged that multilateral development banks are progressing with reforms to enable scaling up financing for the SDGs.
Taking up the Secretary-General’s report on Follow-up to and implementation of the outcomes of the International Conferences on Financing for Development (document A/78/190), she recalled that the Assembly has decided to consider convening in 2025 a fourth International Conference on Financing for Development. Emerging trends risk further exacerbating the financing divide, with a rise in climate related risks among others, an under-provision of global public goods and growing risks of geopolitical fragmentation — putting pressure on countries’ ability to finance themselves. She recommended that Member States consider the politically and technically challenging issues of such a Conference.
PENELOPE HAWKINS, Acting Director of the Debt and Development Finance Branch in the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies of UNCTAD, introduced the report on External debt sustainability and development (document A/78/229), highlighting that keeping debt default at bay has come at a high cost, with external debt service draining resources away from the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change. Detailing the challenges faced by developing countries and low and lower middle-income countries, she stressed: “Developing countries need access to more grants and concessional finance...” In that regard, the role of multilateral development banks, be it through rechannelling special drawing rights (SDR), or more effective use of capital, or recapitalization, is essential, she added, calling for a bolder multilateral policy response to avoid a systemic debt crisis in the developing world and to address the existing development crisis.
Noting the report’s recommendations for the immediate and long term, she called on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to suspend its surcharge interest rate policy, which effectively imposes a penalty on those countries that are most reliant on it. Another immediate step should be to address the weaknesses in the Group of Twenty (G20) Common Framework for Debt Treatments, she added, noting that in the absence of a multilateral debt relief mechanism, all developing countries in debt distress ought to be able to have recourse to this process. Over the longer term, she called for on-going revision of the Debt Sustainability Analysis conducted by IMF, noting that these will form part of the structural reform to ensure that unsustainable debt burdens are dealt with in an orderly, fair and comprehensive manner.
BOJAN NASTAV, Official Statistician, UNCTAD, presenting the report titled “Promotion of international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows and strengthen good practices on assets return to foster sustainable development” — Item 16 (f) (document A/78/186), highlighted three main elements of the report. First, generally agreed concepts by 22 pilot countries show that, though challenging, illicit financial flows can be estimated with globally comparable methods, thus enhancing the capacity for national authorities to track and curb them. Second, due to the collaborative efforts of both organizations with UN Regional Commissions, the first-ever official estimates of illicit financial flows were reported by pilot countries in 2023. Third, countries are in high need for development support to measure these flows, a situation which sees a continual increase in the financing gap for sustainable development.
He stated that following the March 2022 endorsement of the Conceptual Framework for the Statistical Measurement of Illicit Financial Flows by Member States at the UN Statistical Commission, the pilot studies by the 22 countries show that illicit flows are mainly measured by “reusing existing data at the transactions level, where possible” He noted that a global UN development account project was launched in 2023 for the period covering 2023-2026 to carry out new pilot tests and enhance the capacity of up to nine countries in four regions to track and curb illicit financial flows. Noting the strong commitment of Member States towards understanding and curtailing these illegal flows, he pointed out the recommendation of an independent evaluation of a previous project in Africa by UNCTAD and the Economic Commission for Africa that urged UNCTAD to “consider framing further methodological work, capacity-building support and setting up a global data reporting mechanism under its regular programme and budget.”
RICHARD BOLWIJN, Head of Investment Research at the Investment and Enterprise Division of UNCTAD, introducing two sections of the World Investment Report on SDG investment trends and on sustainable finance, reminded that the document looked at the SDG investment gap, which had been estimated on the eve of adoptions of the SDGs in 2015 at $2.5 trillion for developing countries and now, after the review, stands at $4 trillion. Of that, $2.2 trillion is related to energy transition alone, he stressed, adding that investment in renewable energy increased, but mostly in developed countries. “If we look at sustainable finance, the trend is completely different — the market for sustainable finance products is booming and is now worth around $6 trillion,” he stressed, adding that much of that money does not go to the right countries or sectors. “The biggest obstacle is the cost of capital, especially in renewable energy,” he said, calling for the development of public-private partnerships in this area.
As the floor opened for questions, the representative of Egypt commended the reports on international tax cooperation and debt sustainability issues, which tackle issues that are of great relevance to developing countries. She questioned whether the present situation is like the one faced by heavily indebted poor countries in 1996.
The representative of Japan, pointing out that the former report does not accurately represent an analysis of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) tax cooperation framework, or present his country’s perspective. He underlined the need for a re-evaluation of the existing framework, with a view to using such an analysis in deliberations on the direction of future efforts.
In response to the speaker from Egypt, Ms. Hawkins said the question brought to mind the saying, “If your neighbour loses their job, it’s a recession; if you lose your job it’s a depression.” Assessing whether a situation is a crisis can be done through several metrics, she said, noting that while overall, countries do not have a high debt servicing bill; however, this was not the case for low-income countries, who were servicing them at a higher level. Therefore, she voiced concern that this put them in a “parlous position”, from a development perspective, as their interest rate expenditures exceeded spending on education and health.
Ms. Spiegel, also responding to Egypt’s question, noted that the biggest cause of the debt crisis is delayed response; it is therefore imperative to act quickly. Moreover, the situation faced by in 1996 by heavily indebted poor countries was a one-off process, not a systemic change, she said, calling for reflection on dealing with such crises more effectively in the future. Turning to the question from Japan’s delegate, she said the report was not meant to evaluate all work on tax cooperation; it was looking at the inclusiveness and effectiveness of such arrangements, through a synthesis of 80 inputs mapped out by independent evaluators. She noted that one paragraph in the report observed that different views existed among UN Member States.
García Hernández Martha (Cuba), speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, underscored that the current crisis requires urgent action, not promises and empty speeches. She called for reforming the international financial architecture, pointing out that an inclusive system would not ever be possible if the largest developed economies continue to hold de facto veto powers in the decision-making bodies of institutions such as IMF. She also called for urgent improvements to be made to global sovereign debt architecture, through ensuring the meaningful participation of developing countries, observing that, in 2022, 25 developing countries dedicated more than a fifth of their total revenue to servicing external public debt, raising the risk of future debt crises.
On financing for development, she urged developed countries to fulfil their unmet official development assistance (ODA) commitments to developing countries, to help achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of gross national income (GNI) and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of such assistance to least developed countries. She also stressed the urgent need for a voluntary rechanneling of unutilized SDRs to developing countries.
KAUSHAL KISHOR RAY (Nepal) speaking on behalf of the Group of Least Developed Countries, said that his group has suffered from the impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic, climate change, pollution, biodiversity loss and heightened geopolitical tensions, with the successive shocks on the world economy hitting them even harder. The adverse socioeconomic implications of the pandemic have not only pushed least developed countries into a recession, but “also reversed several years of development progress in terms of poverty, education, nutrition and health”. The trade structure of his bloc, being largely dependent on exports of commodities, is dominated by low levels of export capacity and productivity, a situation that makes them highly vulnerable to international price fluctuations. His group of countries are also most vulnerable to climate change, he stressed, adding that increased international assistance and external financing will go a long way towards combatting same, along with attaining the SDGs.
He highlighted the importance of the Doha Programme of Action, citing its implementation as “the only way to keep the promise to leave no one behind”. Turning to international financial institutions and multinational development banks, he said the Group welcomes the Secretary-General’s call for a “radical transformation of the global financial architecture”. Further, the bloc calls for the establishment of an investment promotion centre for least developed countries to boost flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) and emphasizes the need for coordinated policies aimed at fostering sound debt management policies including debt relief and restructuring, as well as debt swap initiatives for sustainable development and climate action.
BRIAN WALLACE (Jamaica), speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and associating himself with the Group of 77 and China and the Alliance of Small Island States, called once again for reform of the international financial architecture, stressing that restructuring macroeconomic policies and reimagining financing for development, sustained by enhanced international cooperation, are urgent for small island developing States. The mobilization of climate financing and investments must support small island developing States’ prioritized needs, he added, emphasizing that: “The global financial system has failed to deliver the financing or stability needed to achieve the SDGs.”
His bloc continues to advance proposals to support the sustainable development and inclusive growth of small island developing States and developing countries, he said, noting that the Bridgetown Initiative and the UN multidimensional vulnerability index, working in tandem, can provide the finance needed for course correction. The recommendations in the recent report of the High-Level Panel on the Implementation of the Multidimensional Vulnerability Index must be acted on without delay, and must be supported by an interim secretariat, he said, affirming his bloc’s continued engagement in the process.
ARRMANATHA CHRISTIAWAN NASIR (Indonesia), speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and aligning himself with the Group of 77 and China, affirmed that global crises are exacerbated by a biased global financial system that is “short-term oriented and crisis prone”, further deepening inequalities. In that context, he called for enhanced solidarity under the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework, working towards human security, economic integration and digital transformation. The regional economy has shown resilience, he emphasized, with expected gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 4.7 per cent in 2023 and 5 per cent in 2024. The bloc has also developed a plan for a circular economy, striking a balance between economic growth and environmental protection. Noting that the region is highly vulnerable to climate change, it is important to enhance cooperation in capacity-building and the revision of climate finance, narrowing development gaps.
He called for strengthening regional trade and development, with inclusive and rules-based trade and investment promotion, so that small and medium-sized enterprises can internationalize and contribute to the supply chain. Adequate funding is crucial for recovery, he stressed, to address the financing gap with a more innovative model. He cited the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund, which is mainstreaming the green and inclusive infra windows, and a toolkit to mobilize more private capital to finance SDG investment.
JOAQUÍN ALBERTO PÉREZ AYESTARÁN (Venezuela), speaking on behalf of the Group of Friends in Defence of the Charter of the United Nations, said that the pandemic triggered a crisis not only in national health systems, but also in the social and economic fields. This is exacerbated by unilateral coercive measures which not only constitute a flagrant violation of the Charter of the United Nations, but also are a deliberate attack on the right to development of hundreds of millions of people around the world, he stressed. “This Organization can no longer remain indifferent to the fact that large amounts of our countries’ funds are blocked in the international financial system as a result of the application of these so‑called sanctions,” he emphasized, calling for the strengthening of international cooperation and solidarity, promotion of investments, especially in infrastructure, improvement of productive capacities, financing for development and access to technologies. He underscored that the Member States of the Group suggest to concentrate the work on five areas: financing for development; trade; official development assistance (ODA); deepening and enhancement of South-South, North-South and triangular cooperation; and debt sustainability.
KATLEGO BOASE MMALANE (Botswana), speaking on behalf of the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, said his bloc is concerned about the global financial outlook, as three years since the pandemic, many States continue to face uneven access to financing for development, posing a challenge for attaining the SDGs. Pointing that with high levels of public debt, inflation and interest rates, many developing countries, especially in his Group of States, are disadvantaged in responding to these shocks or investing in sustainable recovery. The Group therefore highlights the need for urgent immediate and long-term measures to “effectively finance responses to the multiple overlapping crises, while scaling up essential investments in the Sustainable Development Goals”, particularly expressing its interest to deliver on the priorities of the Vienna Programme of Action.
He stated that if the debt of these countries is not restructured on a long-term basis, lifting debt repayment suspension would threaten their sustainable recovery and jeopardize the attainment of long-term development objectives. While acknowledging that “the development of their countries is their primary responsibility,” he also recommended that access to funding from international development institutions be made friendlier for the Group. Technical support and capacity-building on developing banking projects should also be made available to it. Further expressing the Group’s belief that the international community needs to consider how a fourth International Conference on Financing for Development can aid in the SDGs and climate impact, he urged international cooperation towards a “a renewed path” for the sustainable development of landlocked developing countries.
MATILDA BARTLEY (Samoa), speaking on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island Developing States and associating herself with the Group of 77 and China, said that her group makes up one-third of the countries with the highest relative annual losses from natural hazards, noting that the damage caused by disasters as a percentage of GDP in those States increased by nearly 90 per cent from 2011 to 2022. Pointing to the other challenges they face, including high indebtedness or the threat of debt distress, she underscored that they are easily tipped into distress occasioned by climate events, shifts in global trade, or price fluctuations, and are often one event away from an unsustainable accumulation of debt. Improving their access to finance is critical for economic recovery, building resilience and sustainable development, and avoiding debt distress, she stressed, calling for the establishment of a dedicated debt treatment mechanism for their States to enable sound debt management.
She urged all creditors to mainstream State-contingent debt instruments, such as disaster clauses that allow for payment standstills or maturity extensions in response to the volatility of income, liquidity pressures and debt distress arising from exogenous shocks. Further, she called for ex-ante financing to enable the systemic reduction of hazard risk and resilience building, including the disclosure of disaster risk, noting that these instruments are crucial to economic recovery, providing much needed fiscal support.
ARLENE BETH TICKNER (Colombia), speaking also on behalf of Chile and Mexico, voiced support for international cooperation to ensure fair and effective taxation, stressing that countries’ equitable and substantive participation, as well as established processes and agendas to that end, are required. Noting that the Secretary-General’s report presents the basis for a constructive discussion on the resolution on “Promoting Inclusive and Effective International Cooperation on Tax Matters at the United Nations”, she said the possibility of developing a framework or instrument for international tax cooperation is the best way to bring together the desire of many countries, particularly developing States, to establish international tax agreements to boost the potential of taxes to support development efforts and finance important global issues, benefiting from the work already done by OECD and other international organizations.
“The development of an instrument or framework for international cooperation could also tackle urgent substantive tax matters, including tax measures for climate action, how to ensure that the global tax system be more progressive, providing updated alternatives to tax the digital economy and new forms of work, and the future of tax benefits built on Pillar Two of the OECD,” she added.
ZINEB LAHBABI (Morocco), speaking on behalf of the Like-Minded Group of Supporters of Middle-Income Countries, called for a paradigm shift in international development cooperation to ensure crucial fiscal space for developing States, underscoring the need for concessional finance and technical cooperation. She called for the Secretary-General’s proposal of an SDG stimulus to be advanced to tackle the high cost of debt, and to scale up affordable long-term financing for development. As well, she called for factors such as multidimensional vulnerability, inequality and structural gaps to be recognized, while reforming development cooperation.
Political will is required to deliver concrete results, she added, calling for several measures to this end, including the setting up of an independent high-level expert division to create a dashboard of key indicators going beyond GDP. As well, she stressed the need for capacity-building and data collection to help Member States fill the gaps in reporting on goals relating to the Beyond GDP agenda. She voiced hope that the upcoming fourth International Conference for Financing for Development in 2025 will help bridge gaps in implementing the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.
SHIRLEY ONG (Canada), speaking on behalf of Australia, New Zealand and her own country, said that her group of States supports international cooperation to ensure fair and effective taxation. “Issues such as international tax evasion and avoidance, illicit financial flows and international tax competition can best be addressed through mutually beneficial cooperation among countries,” she stressed, adding that a discussion of the governance of the international tax system cannot be isolated from a discussion of the aspects of that system that require further development. “We need to consider ways that international tax organizations can further work together to help Member States build their tax capacity to effectively engage in a timely manner,” she said, stressing the need to build on and leverage existing arrangements and avoid duplicating existing structures and instruments.
ARLENE TICKNER (Colombia), speaking also on behalf Chile and Mexico and aligning herself with the Group of 77 and China, as well as the Like-Minded Group of Supporters of Middle-Income Countries, said every item discussed in the Committee must contribute towards progress on the reform of the international financial system. Her group of countries believes that rechannelling unused SDRs to developing countries and asking the IMF for a new intervention on debt repayment for heavily indebted countries will greatly help in their development efforts, same with increasing the multilateral use of debt-for-climate or debt-for-nature swaps.
There is therefore a need to standardize the instruments for its implementation and change the “narrative around its use”, she emphasized, adding that international financial institutions can play a key role in these swaps. Her delegation proposes negotiations for instruments of tax cooperation utilizing the expertise and work of OECD and other bodies as well as recapitalization on multilateral banks to expand provision of financial resources for developing countries. She called for the establishment of measures beyond GDP to improve their access to financing.
ADIEL GUEVARA RODRÍGUEZ (Cuba), associating himself with the Alliance of Small Island States and the Group of 77 and China, said that commitments must be translated into facts. An urgent, comprehensive solution to external debt is needed, he said, as this debt means that countries cannot move forward. He added that countries of the South need concrete actions, with the development of capacities and the transfer of technologies. He called for developed countries to fulfil their commitments to development spending, rather than putting large amounts of financing into their militaries. He said that the defence of the multilateral trade system is needed, guaranteeing good treatment for all countries, noting the blockade of Cuba by the Government of the United States as being the main obstacle to the economic development of his country. He called this blockade unhuman in character and said that it meant that his country could not have normal trade and economic relations with the rest of the world.
EGRISELDA ARACELY GONZÁLEZ LÓPEZ (El Salvador), aligning herself with the Group of 77 and China, as well as the Like-Minded Group of Supporters of Middle-Income Countries, noted that the international financial architecture and its global governance are failing to effectively address the systemic risks faced by developing countries. While the transformations and reforms needed to deal with current challenges transcend the deliberations within the General Assembly, she affirmed the importance of convening the fourth International Conference on Financing for Development in 2025. She noted that El Salvador has carried out a series of initiatives, betting on innovation and digital transformation, improving infrastructure, logistics and connectivity. It further attaches central importance to services and investment for early childhood education and care, leading to transformation of the education and health sectors.
WISSAM AL NAHHAS (Syria), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China and the Group of Friends in Defence of the Charter of the United Nations, said that in the case of his country, trade is facing various threats such as war, terrorism and illegitimate coercive measures imposed by the United States and the European Union. In addition to the increased cost of insurance of transported goods, these sanctions prevent the access of medical equipment, he stressed, adding that importing fuel is also difficult and the water sector faces problems. “The imposition of measures on our oil has caused $115 billion of loss for my country,” he said, naming this “economic terrorism” and calling for the immediate and unconditional lifting of the unilateral coercive measures, imposed by Western States on developing countries.
TAHEREH JALILI (Iran), aligning herself with the Group of 77 and China and the Group of Friends in Defence of the Charter of the United Nations, noting that inward-looking policies, protectionist approaches and unilateral measures are undermining the multilateral financing and trading system, called on international financial institutions to generate conditions that allow for greater access to financing on favourable terms and without any politicization. Developing countries continue to suffer from old and entrenched development challenges originating from global economic, financial and trade imbalances and injustices, she said, renewing her call for such imbalances to be lifted, and on States to refrain from implementing any political or economic measures aimed at exerting pressure on developing countries. The United Nations, with UNCTAD and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), must enhance their work in addressing the needs of developing countries, she added.
TAREK LABED (Tunisia), speaking on behalf of the African Group, said that his bloc aligns itself with the Group of 77 and China. “The Group notes that while adverse impacts of the pandemic continue to persist across the continent, the current geopolitical developments have further disrupted food and energy markets, exacerbated food insecurity and malnutrition and caused high rates of inflation, raising the cost of living to a critical level that has pushed millions of Africans into poverty and economic distress,” he emphasized, adding that climate change is taking a heavy toll on the continent, triggering massive humanitarian and economic damage. “We underscore that the operationalization of the African Continental Free Trade Area would potentially expand intra‑African trade in agrifood services and industry by around 40 per cent, and in energy and mining by approximately 16 per cent, thereby accelerating Africa’s industrialization,” he said, highlighting the need to reform the mechanism for rechannelling SDRs.
“African countries need to effectively mobilize and utilize domestic resources, including through enhancing tax policies and administration to maximize revenues and address harmful tax practices, which drain necessary resources required for Africa’s development,” he continued, calling for scaling up international tax cooperation to make sure it is universal in approach and scope. “It is also important to promote taxation of income derived from the provision of cross-border services in an increasingly digitalized and globalized economy,” he concluded, reiterating the African Group’s call for adopting a convention on international tax cooperation.
RODOLFO RETA HADDAD (Mexico) said that his country considers it urgent to promote cross-cutting structural reforms of international financial institutions. He said there is a need to increase development financing. He added that those nations dependent on the export of raw materials need to prioritize strategies that promote internal economic activity. Likewise, he said that his country called for trade liberalization schemes that allow local production chains to be incorporated into international trade flows. He said that of particular importance is guaranteeing the participation of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in global trade, since this is where most jobs are generated in developing countries. He said that climate action requires considerable financing, including resuming the commitments of the Paris Agreement and the Bridgetown Initiative, and that reinforced multilateralism was needed to achieve the SDGs. He added that his country aims to design a financial system up to current and future challenges, for example, in its work as co-host of the fourth International Conference on Financing for Development in 2025, together with Spain.
NELLY BANAKEN ELEL (Cameroon), associating herself with the Group of 77 and China and the African Group, said that her country welcomes the general consensus that is emerging around the major issues and global challenges. Calling for basing actions more than ever before on the Charter of the United Nations, she underlined the imperative need for renovated financial and commercial architectures. “Cameroon, determined to keep its commitments, has drawn an implementation plan for the SDGs and Agenda 2063, through a National Development Strategy,” she emphasized. Citing a series of reforms ensuring the promotion of sustainable economic and social development, as well as good governance, she said such efforts allow all citizens to participate fully in the affairs of the country.
FRANCISCO JOSÉ DA CRUZ (Angola), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China and the African Group, defended a reform of the international financial architecture, which he said was failing to live up to the expectations and needs of developing countries. He said that multilateral trade needs to be promoted to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Private sector participation will be essential considering the high levels of debt and reduced mobilization of revenue, he said, adding that multilateral development banks and development finance institutions can play a key role in attracting private investment. International financial institutions can assist in climate financing by issuing green bonds to raise finance for climate issues. He noted that SDRs had helped his country strengthen its international reserves.
MUSTAFA AL-NIAMI (Iraq), aligning himself with the Group of 77 and China, stated that widening financial and technical gaps, worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical crises, are weakening the macroeconomic performance of developing countries. Therefore, sustainable economic growth must be assisted to help developing countries better grapple with low productivity, international competitiveness and vulnerability to external shocks. Because international trade is an important engine for economic development, barriers must be removed from markets and preferential treatment be given to developing countries. Achieving the Addis Ababa Action Agenda requires a stable and flexible international architecture, he said, calling for the mobilization of resources for sustainable development and for the narrowing of technical and financial gaps. He reiterated the need to combat illicit financial flows, as well as to recover stolen assets. On climate change, he called for greater cooperation with his country’s adaptation efforts.
REEM FAHAD O. ALOMAIR (Saudi Arabia), aligning herself with the Group of 77 and China, noted the country supports many macroeconomic projects including the Fiscal Balance Programme, which is key to the Saudi 2030 Vision initiative. Riyadh is adding important measures to bring further stability to global oil markets, including through sustaining the food supply chain, providing secure energy to all, and addressing the ramifications of climate change. She further noted that, by virtue of its geostrategic position, Saudi Arabia plays a pivotal role in supporting the private sector and international trade, and maintains its commitment to international cooperation in tracking illicit financial flows and recovering assets. Her Government provides loans to least developed countries through the Saudi Public Investment Fund and the King Salman Centre for Humanitarian Agencies, with $7 billion in development assistance in 2022, overperforming the UN set target of 7.4 per cent of GDP for ODA.
LOUISMONGKOL SAPKUL (Thailand), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China and ASEAN, said that among the key enablers towards impactful, sustainable and inclusive economic development is financing for development. Urging developed countries to fulfil their ODA commitments, he stressed that finance must answer the needs and priorities of each country. Moreover, reform of the global financial architecture must include the voice of developing countries who need a more significant role in shaping international finance and international macro-economic policies. He expressed support for the expansion of multilateral development banks’ lending capacity to better leverage private capital for development projects and underscored the need for greater access to concessional loans. Highlighting the importance of an inclusive rules-based multilateral trade system, he noted that greater connectivity to facilitate cross-border trade will contribute to a resilient global supply chain that protects from future disruptions and enable better implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
PENDA NAANDA (Namibia), associating herself with the African Group, the Group of 77 and China, and the Like-Minded Group for Middle-Income Countries, said that “comprehensive reform of the global financial architecture is imperative” and a core transformative element capable of positively impacting citizens’ lives. Developing countries need financing for development, incorporation of debt sustainability analysis and sovereign debt restructuring. She commended the African Development Bank’s proposal to redirect SDRs to multilateral development banks, as having significant potential to amplify the impact of SDRs. She said that emerging opportunities, including in international trade and adaptive grants, merit careful consideration and that her country is actively dedicated to a green transition. Namibia is acting to increase financial compliance, including efforts to increase tax, customs and excise compliance, and revenue collection, and prevent illicit financial flows.
IBRAHIM ZUHUREE (Maldives), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China and the Alliance of Small Island States, said that his country, suffering a historic 34 per cent GDP decline in the wake of the pandemic, implemented measures to control discretionary Government spending. “Climate change, among others, has a detrimental impact on our debt-to-GDP ratios,” he stressed, adding that countries like the Maldives are forced to resort to more expensive financing, resulting in higher borrowing costs and debt accumulation. He called for an immediate and credible reform of the international financial architecture, harmonizing funding rules, processes and applications, including for multilateral funds and climate-related financing. “Developed countries must renew their commitments to their official development assistance targets,” he stressed.
CHRISTINE NZUMBU (Kenya), associating herself with the Group of 77 and China and the African Group, noted the debt sustainability and debt servicing issues faced by developing countries. She called for, at a minimum, the establishment of new SDRs of at least $650 billion and the channeling of unused SDRs to countries in need. Also needed are the operationalization and use of the multidimensional vulnerability index for concessional finance to developing countries, as well as a review of the credit rating system. Further, she underscored the need for an instrument that facilitates the closing of tax loopholes, curbs tax evasion and ensures that multinational corporations pay their fair share of taxes in the countries where they operate, and voiced support for the establishment of a UN convention on international tax. Stressing the need for an agile and responsive international financial architecture, she emphasized that the voice and participation of developing countries in international economic decision-making, norm-setting and global economic governance must be strengthened.
ALENA KAVALEUSKAYA (Belarus) said that the use of politically motivated unilateral coercive measures against other countries and disrespect for their national traditions and culture hinder not only the strengthening of trade, but also the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals. “Belarus is concerned with the scaling up of the practice of using unilateral economic coercive measures and calls for an end to it,” she stressed, adding that the victims of such measures are developing and middle-income countries that suffer most from crises. She also highlighted the inaccessibility for the developing world of advanced energy technologies that could ensure energy sovereignty and economic growth. “Belarus has always paid attention to the fact that the current food crisis, which has become one of the most important global threats to humanity, is man-made, and the simple removal of illegal sanctions and barriers can instantly resolve it,” she said, calling for maintaining and strengthening global partnerships and interregional integration.
MAHAMADOU BOKOUM (Burkina Faso), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, the African Group, the Group of Least Developed Countries and the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, said that his country faces troubles emanating from the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, increased global financial constraints, geostrategic tensions and the consequences of the COVID‑19 pandemic, as well as recurrent terrorist attacks at the national level. “Our government has worked hard together to restore security throughout our territory and create a budgetary environment favourable to development,” he said. Africa already mobilizes a substantial part of its own development needs thanks to its internal resources, generating more than four times public revenue and private savings compared to financing, including foreign direct investment, portfolio investment, remittances and ODA. But this potential is annihilated by illicit financial flows leaving the continent and national institutional investments which tend to head abroad, he said.
Mr. WANG (China), aligning himself with the Group of 77 and his country, observed that the human development index had declined two years in a row and that most countries had experienced a slowdown in economic growth. In this context, he called on the international community to strengthen solidarity to push the implementation of SDGs back on track. Developed economies should devise responsible monetary policies, to avoid negative spillover effects. Further, he underlined the need to avoid unilateral measures and protectionism, and for developed countries to honour their ODA commitments, and provide $100 billion in climate finance. He called for the implementation of the Group of 20 debt service suspension initiative, for additional special drawing rights to be issued to countries in need. In addition, the international economic architecture must be reformed to enhance the voice and representation of developing countries in decision-making processes. The multilateral trading system must also be reformed to facilitate trade and investment, he said, stressing that trade issues must never be politicized.
PETAL GAHLOT (India), aligning herself with the Group of 77 and China, stressed that “twenty-first century problems require twenty-first century solutions” — and that the present international financial system anchored in the reality of the twentieth century can no longer address the development needs of the Global South. She urged multilateral development banks to undertake comprehensive efforts to evolve their incentive structures, operational approaches and financial capacities. In order to prevent the debt distress affecting the Global South from having a cascading effect — particularly the least developed countries — India has worked, through its G20 Presidency, towards stepping up implementation of the Common Framework for Debt Treatment in a predictable and orderly manner. On financial inclusion, she cited India’s Unified Payments Interface, which has incentivized millions of small vendors to participate in the formal economy, while also being able to receive payments instantly.
VLADAMIR BUDHU (Trinidad and Tobago), associating himself with CARICOM, the Alliance of Small Island Developing States and the Group of 77 and China, said that COVID-19, climate change and conflict has laid bare the profound fragilities of interconnected economies and societies. “Least developed countries and small island developing States are on the edge of the economic precipice, and our hard-earned development progress is in severe peril as the prospects of increased poverty, unemployment and debt crises loom almost inevitably,” he said. The rigid structures of the wider international financial architecture are no longer fit for purpose, as developing countries, lacking alternatives, have been forced to amass unsustainable levels of debt. “What is needed is a more inclusive and equitable international financial system that better responds to the needs and developmental interests of the Global South,” he said, highlighting the gaps in the current international tax governance structure.
BABA GANA ALKALI (Nigeria), aligning himself with the Group of 77 and China, as well as the African Group, noted the connection between sound microeconomic policies and the actualization of the SDGs. He stated that with most developing countries behind on the Goals, “it is important we work concertedly to seek transformative solutions that would address the challenges” of these countries. Observing the rise in interest rates in developed economies, which have hampered access to affordable credit and complicated debt management, his Government established a Presidential Taskforce on Review of Fiscal Policy and Tax Reform and signed four executive orders to curb double taxation and boost investor confidence. He proposed that a UN Tax Convention be held to comprehensively address the issue of unfair taxes on the economies of developing countries, supporting calls for the reform of the international financial architecture, including comprehensive debt relief measures, to enable sustainable financing for development. He also called for establishing a UN-backed Investment Fund focused on high-impact sectors such as renewable energy.
Enkhbold Vorshilov (Mongolia), aligning himself with the Group of 77 and China and the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, said that while everyone is in the same boat amid global market turbulence, no boat should be allowed to sink under rising debt levels. Middle-income countries with frontier markets such as Mongolia have a larger proportion of floating rate debts in their debt portfolio and are faced with significant increases in their interest costs, he said, pointing out that Mongolia dramatically expanded its borrowing following its upgrading to lower-middle income country status in 2012, and that repayment has, since 2022, placed a heavy strain on the country’s budget. However, he emphasized his country’s commitment to lowering its debt burden, as borne out by its successfully reducing the Government debt-to-GDP ratio from 93.1 per cent in 2016 to 49.8 per cent in 2023. While fiscal and debt vulnerabilities remain, his country adheres to fiscal discipline and envisages that public-private partnership and private sector financing will play a role in financing for development, he said.
TAPIWA ROY RUPENDE (Zimbabwe) said that a reformed global economic structure is critical to ensure more equitable resource allocation, particularly for those struggling to meet basic human development needs, including African countries. “To promote inclusive and sustainable trade, we must prioritize the elimination of barriers to trade, encouraging and facilitating fair and equitable trade practices, and ensuring that trade agreements benefit all nations, particularly the least developed,” he stressed, highlighting the importance of increased domestic revenue generation and mobilization. He also pointed out that unsustainable levels of external debt are stifling economies of most countries from the Global South, and their ability to invest in poverty eradication, healthcare, education, and infrastructure. “All critical components of the SDGs are severely diminished,” he said, calling for the immediate and unconditional removal of sanctions against not only Zimbabwe but all affected countries.
ASBINA MARIN SEVILLA (Venezuela), associating herself with the Group of 77 and China, spoke of hundreds of sanctions that her country is subject to, causing a loss of wealth and assets. She called this a criminal policy of the Government of the United States, the European Union and their partners. She said this includes sanctions by the United States on Venezuelan oil that was part of an oil for food programme. She said such unilateral, coercive measures constitute human rights violations against the people of her country and that they are crimes against humanity. She added that her Government’s macroeconomic policies have brought signs of economic recovery. She said that it was crucial to move forward with restructuring debt and to reform the international financial architecture, adding that Venezuela is committed to creating good conditions for fair trade and the eradication of poverty, without leaving any country behind.
LETICIA MARÍA ZAMORA ZUMBADO (Costa Rica), aligning herself with the Group of 77 and the Like‑Minded Group of Countries Supporters of Middle‑Income Countries, noted that 52 developing countries with half the global population live in extreme poverty and debt crisis. For 16 countries including hers, payment of accumulated interest could reach $43.9 billion by 2030. Such States need access to liquidity for essential resilience programmes and expanded access to existing and new financial mechanisms such as climate-for-debt swaps. She further called for assigning SDRs on the basis of needs and vulnerabilities. “Our challenge now is to act consistently towards an international financial system which does not perpetuate inequality and does not impose the costs of risks on the most vulnerable but creates the conditions so that all can invest in the creation of value in today’s and the future’s economy,” she stated.
NIGAR BAYRAMLI-HAMIDOVA (Azerbaijan), associating herself with the Group of 77 and China, said the magnitude of the global challenges faced by many developing countries underscores the need for reaffirmed dedication to the principles outlined in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. She stated that the High‑Level Dialogue on Financing for Development, held alongside the SDG Summit in September, strongly reminded that “advancing the 17 SDGs demands not only rapid and collective actions but also the urgent addressing of existing financing and investment gaps”. Azerbaijan recognizes that a multidimensional approach is essential for addressing this gap and achieving development aspirations, she noted, adding that its Central Bank published the country’s first Sustainable Finance Roadmap earlier in 2023 for 2023-2026 on environmental, social and governance sustainability and green finance. She highlighted the importance her country places on partnerships, particularly towards attaining sustainable development, adding that, having evolved from a war-torn nation to an emerging donor State, Azerbaijan has provided humanitarian and development assistance to over 130 countries particularly targeting 43 out of the 46 least developed countries. This, together with other initiatives, underscores its commitment to addressing global challenges.
AMARA SHEIKH MOHAMMED SOWA (Sierra Leone), aligning himself with the Group of 77 and China, the Group of Least Developed Countries and the African Group, noted that his State has scaled up financial literacy through constant engagement of various informal sector groups including women, while promoting financial digitalization. Freetown continues its roll-out of a people-centered local development financing framework, targeting the participation of village and chiefdom communities through a planning process model commonly referred to as the “Wan Fambul (One Family) Framework”. He called for debt service relief and debt restructuring for fragile countries on the brink of economic recession and even collapse, as well as the consideration of debt cancellation, where appropriate. It is further crucial to accelerate the G20 Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the Debt Service Suspension Initiative and allocate or rechannel all unused SDRs to countries with a high debt burden.
SOMOLY HENG (Cambodia), associating herself with the Group of 77 and China and ASEAN, said that the existing financial architecture has been unable to mobilize enough long-term financing to support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. “Cambodia is committed to securing long-term funding from all development partners to achieve the SDGs, despite limited capacity and financial resources,” she stated, adding that her country is implementing gradual financial reforms which have elevated Cambodia from the “lower-middle-income” to the “upper-middle-income” category. “Thirty years ago, foreign sources accounted for about two-thirds of our national budget. Today, they make up less than 24.6 per cent,” she said, calling for a fair and equitable international tax system in an increasingly interconnected world.
MD FARUK HOSSAIN (Bangladesh), aligning himself with the Group of 77 and China and the Group of Least Developed Countries, said that, although his country’s economy grew by 8.15 per cent before the pandemic, a series of crises jolted its trajectory, leading to it negotiating a $4.7 billion loan package from IMF. Although global investable assets reached a record amount of over $250 trillion at the end of 2022, worryingly, these resources are not being channelled at the scale and speed necessary to achieve the SDGs, he said, calling on international financial institutions to realign their priorities and mobilize additional funds for SDG implementation and climate action. As well, funds need to be made available for developing countries at low-cost, concessional rates. Moreso, all lending instruments should have disaster clauses to allow vulnerable countries to absorb shocks during crises, he said, adding that SDR borrowing limits should be based on needs and vulnerability, instead of quotas. He also called for a review of the global credit rating system, as it currently restricts access to funds for many low- and middle-income countries.
UMAR SHAFIQUE (Pakistan), associating herself with the Group of 77 and China, said that an uneven international financial system stops developmental progress. She put forward several actions that her country believes should be part of the response. This included reform the financial and economic architecture to ensure appropriate representation of developing countries, and changes in voting rights in IMF and the World Bank to reflect the needs of developing countries. She added that a financial stimulus is required for developing countries, as is urgent debt relief. She called for international cooperation to ensure the return of assets and to curb illicit flows of finance, and for the fostering of inclusive international cooperation for a global tax treaty negotiated in the United Nations. She added that unilateral protectionism needed to be guarded against. She said that investment in quality infrastructure was necessary through the United Nations system.
JOHN AIELLO (United States) said his country has played a leading role in the work of the Global Forum on Tax Transparency and the OECD-G20 Inclusive Framework on base erosion and profit sharing. However it was disappointing that the Secretary-General’s report on inclusive and effective international tax cooperation at the UN did not acknowledge the progress Member States and other parties have made on the matter at the OECD. While the UN has an important role to play in international tax cooperation, that role “remains complementary and non-duplicative to existing efforts”, he noted. With more than 140 members in its Inclusive Framework, OECD’s consensus model and the extensive technical support of its secretariat allows every member a real and equal voice in decision-making. Therefore, concurrent deliberations on the same issue at different platforms and with different rules would only undermine the ability of parties to achieve meaningful results at either venue. Stressing that “we should not recreate self-defeating competition in our efforts to solve that problem,” he stated that the UN and OECD should, instead, collaborate with each other and maximize the SDGs progress through improving capacity-building and domestic resource mobilization, and updating the international tax architecture.
TASH VAN DOIMEN (Guyana), aligning herself with the Group of 77 and China, the Alliance of Small Island States and CARICOM, said that the present international financial architecture is outdated and not fit for purpose. She called for a focus on reforming this architecture so that it aligns with the needs of the global community by providing scaled-up, affordable, long term, and accessible development finance. Calling for innovative solutions that are synergistic, collaborative, and strategic, she also voiced support for the full implementation of the Bridgetown Initiative, the operationalizing of the Loss and Damage Fund, and the finalization and use of the multidimensional vulnerability index as a measure beyond GDP. An inclusive approach is needed to benefit all, rather than unilateral coercive economic measures and barriers to trade. She added that true multilateralism — meaning actions, not just commitments — is necessary. Such actions would entail meeting development assistance and climate financing commitments.
GBOLIÉ DÉSIRÉ WULFRAN IPO (Côte d’Ivoire), aligning himself with the Group of 77 and the African Group, stressed that about 850 million people worldwide survive in extreme poverty, on less than $1.9 per day, without access to drinking water, education or health care — while the tightening of financing conditions considerably limits the budgetary room for maneuver of such States. In this context, he called for exploring other sources of financing in order to support sustainable development, reforming the international financial system, fighting tax evasion and strengthening the capacities of developing countries to mobilize more of their own national resources. Côte d'Ivoire organized a consultative group to finance its National Development Plan, aiming to mobilize a total investment of 59,000 billion CFA francs, 75 per cent of which is expected from the private sector. He emphasized that the country is also exploring innovative funding to fight climate change and launch a carbon tax.
YANG AISHAH BINTI ADNAN (Malaysia) said the current international financial architecture falls short of effectively providing needed funds for the Global Goals. According to the Financing for Sustainable Development Report 2023, 52 developing countries are under the weight of significant debt-related challenges, a situation which necessitates multilateral and commercial creditors to take immediate action and ensure that proper assistance be provided to such countries. Noting that imposing unilateral coercive measures is jeopardizing corporate economic development efforts, she said that Malaysia is committed to promoting free and open trade that has fair and inclusive policies. She called for the reallocation of SDRs to countries with the greatest need, also highlighting the need to combat greenwashing. Her country is committed to digitalization, having introduced the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint which seeks to generate 500,000 jobs over five years, thereby attracting $15 billion. “Malaysia welcomes foreign digital investment and digital entrepreneurs interested in expanding their presence in the country, positioning Malaysia as a gateway to the regional market such as ASEAN,” she said.
VIKTORIIA E. KARDASH (Russian Federation) stated that existing multilateral cooperation mechanisms, in particular on tax issues and including within the OECD, cannot be called inclusive and effective. “We are convinced that the United Nations should begin to play a leading role in the global tax architecture, ensuring equal participation of all states in the development of decisions,” she said, adding that the current global financial architecture caters to the interests of only a narrow group of Western countries. “Recognition of the detrimental nature of anti-Russian sanctions measures for the global economy, especially from such an influential organization as the WTO [World Trade Organization], gives hope that at some point politicization will give way to rationality in resolving trade issues,” she said, calling for the same objective analysis from the UN Secretariat and UNCTAD.
ADRIÁN MARTÍN COUCE (Spain) called for steps to be taken to ensure that countries have access to the financing they need to achieve the SDGs, regardless of their income level. Developmental aid will continue to play a role, he said, spotlighting, in this context, a law adopted by his country to fulfil its ODA commitments of 0.7 per cent of its GDP by 2030. He called for a more enabling environment to be created to help the achievement of the global goals, including through the development of local capital markets and new instruments to boost public-private partnerships. In this regard, he underlined the need to reform multinational development banks, enhancing their ability to tackle global threats and the needs of the most vulnerable, and for innovative approaches to be explored, including mixed capital and SDRs. As well, he called for bolder action to tackle the debt crisis, including through restructuring debt when necessary and ensuring the implementation of the G20 Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the Debt Service Suspension Initiative.
SAŠA MART (Serbia), underlining that sustainable investments can be attractive for private investors, emphasized that it is possible to achieve both sustainability and financial attractiveness. His country had identified its greatest areas of opportunity for sustainable development investment, creating its SDG Investor Map to engage Government, investors, intermediaries and enterprises to drive change. Achieving the global goals and generating financial profit must be part of the same decision-making process as investments and business activities. Foreign direct investment is an important financing source to meet global sustainable development commitments, he added. The Government of Serbia had reached a record high level of foreign direct investment inflows in 2022, with further increases in 2023. In addition, his country is capitalizing on investors’ increased concern for environmental and social aspects of their business by supporting foreign direct investment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
KYAW MOE TUN (Myanmar) said the convergence of the climate crisis, the COVID‑19 pandemic, growing conflicts, and other debilitating environmental and socioeconomic situations have hampered progress towards achieving the SDGs, a situation necessitating more fiscal space for countries. The Addis Ababa Action Agenda provides concrete plans for supporting development as an essential part of the 2030 Agenda. To this end, least developed countries require a fair financial and multilateral trading system in order to achieve a resilient, sustainable recovery from economic shocks caused by COVID‑19 and conflicts. The strong economic foundation and substantial progress his country enjoyed during its democratic period of 2016 to January 2021 have been eroded the past 31 months on account of the military coup and the junta’s “grievous atrocities and gross violation of human rights,” he said, which has caused more that 2 million people to be displaced, with 18 million needing humanitarian assistance. He therefore underscored the need for humanitarian and development partners to join the UN in working with relevant stakeholders in the country in ways which “must not prolong the military dictatorship in Myanmar,” further urging the Organization and its Members to strongly support the people of Myanmar “in our endeavours to achieving our resolution”.
HARI PRABOWO (Indonesia), aligning himself with the Group of 77 and ASEAN, called for reform of the international financial architecture, with the core concern of having Bretton Woods institutions align themselves with the Sustainable Development Goals and the needs of developing countries. Beyond that, multilateral development banks and public development banks should strengthen their cooperation to scale up accessible international financing and debt restructuring. Building a robust domestic revenue base is a priority, he stressed, and international tax cooperation could serve that purpose by combating tax evasion and illicit financial flows and promoting transparency. Given the need for innovative financing, he recalled that in 2023, Indonesia was the world’s first sovereign issuer of blue bonds. “Collaborative action is the only avenue to channel available resources to the ones who need them the most,” he stressed.
AHMED MAGDY MOHAMED RASHAD ABDELAAL (Egypt), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China and the African Group, called for urgent steps to ease the debt burdens of developing countries, including by making necessary reforms to the international debt architecture. “We note that G20 common framework and IMF’s issuance of SDRs have been helpful mechanisms for the short term,” he said, stressing the need for further rechannelling unutilized SDRs to developing countries. It is time to initiate a reform of the international financial architecture to prevent prolonged financial and economic crises in the future, he emphasized, also calling for ensuring simplified access and mobilized climate finance.
LAURA GABRIELLE DIX (United Kingdom) observed that financing for development has not matched the trajectory set out when the Addis Ababa Action Agenda was agreed upon. She called for a course-correction, including through the financial commitments made through the outcome declaration of the recent SDG Summit. The United Kingdom is committed to the reform of the international financial system, making it fairer for developing countries, she said, adding that more funds must be made available by the international financial institutions and private sector, among others. To this end, she highlighted two guarantees by her country to scale up lending to multilateral development banks for educational and climate finance. The international financial system must be made more shock-responsive, she said, pointing out that her country was the first to introduce climate-resilient debt clauses in loans that pause repayment when disaster strikes. “We want to see these clauses become the norm,” she declared. Further, underlining the need for a fairer international tax system, she called for the swift implementation of the OECD “two-pillar” package, underlining her country’s commitment to tackling illicit financial flows, including through London.
The representative of (Zambia), associating herself with the Group of Least Developed Countries, Group of 77 and China and the African Group, said that the global financial architecture needs to be realigned and made fit for purpose to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Principally, debt sustainability is needed, alongside a major scale up in concessional financing for developing countries. “The international community must unite to devise innovative solutions that offer timely relief, restructuring, and responsible lending practices,” she said. She also called for the strengthening of global financial safety nets, including mechanisms that provide emergency liquidity and support, as well as collaboration on international tax cooperation and enhancing domestic resource mobilization capacities. “A fundamental principle is that value must be taxed where it is created, especially in the world that is increasingly being digitized,” she said. Private finance must also be utilized for developmental ends, she added, calling for the credibility of the multilateral trading system and commitment to the rules-based trading system to be upheld.
JAIME HERMIDA CASTILLO (Nicaragua), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China and the Group of Countries in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations, called for the creation of a new multipolar international economic model, based on inclusion, equity, social justice, solidarity and respectful equality between States and Governments. “Financing is crucial to realizing development commitments [and] international financial systems must provide greater access to financing in an equitable and inclusive manner for developing countries,” he said. He urged reform of the international financial architecture that ensures more financing is provided to achieve sustainable development goals and where the demands and needs of developing countries are taken into account. Referring to the imposition of illegal and terrorist unilateral coercive measures imposed by imperialist and neocolonialist countries to more than 30 countries, he said that millions of people suffer daily from these disastrous measures. He demanded their immediate elimination.