Social Watch E-Newsletter - Issue 282 - December 2, 2016

Issue 282 - December 2, 2016

Options for Strengthening Global Tax Governance


The importance of global cooperation on tax issues is becoming more and more evident. Countries in the global North and South alike have been shown to offer preferential treatment to foreigners: both individuals and huge transnational corporations are using a fragmented and inconsistently regulated global system of transborder taxation to evade and/or avoid taxes. The sums lost amount to hundreds of billions annually.
Among the latest efforts to curb losses from an eroding tax base, tax avoidance and evasion are occurring under the roof of the OECD – most notably the BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) process and the »inclusive framework« for its implementation – as well as reforms at the United Nations and the establishment of a Platform for Collaboration on Tax between the Bretton Woods Institutions, the OECD and the UN. Read more



The role of private sector in development is currently one of the most debated issues in international cooperation. It is inscribed in a wider context where financial resources for official development assistance (ODA) are shrinking, development cooperation is evolving beyond the traditional ‘aid’ concept, and the actors/entities that can be key players in development are growing. Fortunately, development is seen more and more as a holistic process that should be supported by integrated global policies (such as trade, investments, etc.), bringing about improvements in terms of both economic and social progress, the latter being based on the full respect of human rights.
The pivotal role of business in development discourse is based on the equation between economic growth and sustainable development, (voluntary) corporate social responsibility (CSR), enabling business environment provided by states, and finally public-private dialogues (private sector involved in policy making). The role of business has also been recognised in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for achieving Sustainable Development Goals. Read more


“While there was some small cause for optimism at Marrakesh, the major issues were shuffled off, either never to be seen again or put aside for further ‘negotiation’ in the future. Overall, a disappointing result”, said Azeb Girmai, LDC Watch Climate Lead.
On the positive LDC Watch welcomes the Renewable Energy initiative for Sustainable Development (REEEI) which was launched on the last day of the conference. This will scale up the provision of renewable energy to Least Developed Countries, particularly helping development in rural areas.
LDC Watch also welcomed moves to set up the five-year rolling work plan of the executive committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism on how to calculate the loss and damage caused by climate change; the extension of the Lima Action Plan on gender until 2020; and the establishment of a technological framework to link up technology and finance. Read more


When gender equality was universally adopted as Sustainable Development Goal 5, “gender equality matters to economic growth” became the party line of global institutions. The floodgates well and truly opened after McKinsey & Company published its 2015 flagship report finding USD 12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 by advancing women’s equality. A cascade of “killer facts” soon followed from unlikely gender champions, from the likes of Goldman Sachs estimating a 12 per cent increase in per capita income could be created by 2030 by closing the gender credit gap, to the G20 recognizing their economies stand to gain significantly from increased female labour force participation in the context of widely ageing populations and low fertility rates. Even the World Bank’s Doing Business Report, ranking countries according to how favorable their business environment is and frequently criticizedfor having a very narrow approach, has now included gender dimensions in three of its indicators, signaling that “gender equality matters!” It seems the message might even have slowly trickled its way up to finance ministries, as the World Bank now hosts a semi-annual “Community of Practice” for finance ministers on gender equality. Read more


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