PSI Applauds Historic UN Decision on Global Tax Convention Talks

PSI welcomes yesterday's decision by the United Nations’ second committee to start negotiations on a global tax convention. This historic move expands the voice of all countries in shaping tax rules and represents an historic opportunity to achieve inclusive and meaningful global tax reform.

The decision to move the UN Tax Convention forward comes at a crucial time as the world grapples with deep inequalities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis which will require unprecedented public spending to address. PSI commends the African Group leadership for acknowledging the vital role of global tax reform in raising revenues to address such challenges and calls on all member states to prioritize the interests of workers and communities by ensuring that the global tax agreement is designed to benefit the many, not the few.

PSI is proud of the instrumental role played by unions in pushing governments to the negotiating table. Across the world, unions have been at the forefront of raising awareness about the impact of corporate tax dodging on workers and public services, calling for inclusive tax governance and building coalitions to demand accountability from governments and corporations.

PSI General Secretary Daniel Bertossa said:

“A decade ago a UN tax convention seemed like an impossibility. Yet tireless campaigning by PSI affiliates and allies has made global tax reform a top-ticket issue for governments. There is now an acknowledgement that tax rules that affect us all should involve us all.” 

The involvement of unions in shaping the global tax agenda has been key to achieving other major advancements including the Global Reporting Initiative's new tax standard and the unprecedented (though unambitious) G20/OECD global tax deal. PSI has led the way in making corporate taxation an issue in the global labour movement. Our tax briefing series, including our special brief on the UN Tax Cooperation, provides invaluable information to trade unionists who have used this technical support to advocate to their governments. 

Looking to the future Bertossa said:

“The real work starts now: we know that proponents of the status quo will be doing all they can to stop any further progress even at the UN. We must resist corporate influence and blocking by tax havens and governments protecting tax dodgers if we are to rebuild our public services and fuel wage growth across the economy. "

He called on all workers and unions to step up organizing grassroots campaigns and to engage in high-level advocacy, so workers and their representatives can continue to  shape the discourse and win real change for tax justice.

Public Services International will work with affiliates and our private sector union comrades to monitor and demand transparency from governments as the negotiation process advances. We will continue to lead trade union advocacy, towards national governments and the UN, for stronger, fairer global tax rules. Through our Network of Unions for Tax Justice, we will be offering expertise and insights to inform engagement. 

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