The next July 27 and 28, will take place in Cartagena, Colombia, the First Summit of Latin America and the Caribbean for an inclusive, sustainable and equitable global taxationa ministerial conclave that will seek to define and coordinate a joint action on tax matters that facilitates the exchange of information and reduce tax competition in order to increase collection in the region and, with these resources, to adequately face the numerous crises that devastate the countries.
Ahead of the meeting, more than two dozen UN experts on human rights* issued a statement on Tuesday in which they praised the celebration of the event, which has the support and advice of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
The group of special rapporteurs pointed out that the regional initiative has the objective of “agreeing common tax standards to combat illicit financial flows, tax evasion and avoidanceand other common problems, such as the increase in poverty, inequality and the climate emergency”.
Tax collection for public services
In this sense, they called on the States to commit to regional tax negotiations to ensure the maximum of available resources for the task of respecting, protecting and guaranteeing human rights at the national and extraterritorial level, in addition to raising sufficient funds to finance quality public services, including social protection, education and health, as is your duty.
They also urged countries to always take gender issues into account and to promote inclusive and sustainable development.
For the rapporteurs, the participation of ECLAC would make it possible to make the Summit a permanent, transparent and inclusive platform for decision-making for regional tax cooperation.
The experts reminded States and companies of their obligations and responsibilities to protect and respect human rights and affirmed that the meeting is a unique opportunity for Latin America and the Caribbean to strengthen coordination on tax issues and join forces so that States can comply with their obligations in terms of human rights. address negative impacts of business on human rights, strengthen access to quality public goods, facilities and services, and prevent and respond to the climate emergency.
Fight against tax havens
The joint declaration also made a series of specific requests to the States, among which it stands out to fight against tax havens and illicit flowsensuring that judicial systems combat them and recover stolen assets.
They also urged countries to agree green taxes and undertake coordinated tax policies on fossil fuels, carbon emissions and taxes on the extractive industries and transition minerals, with the aim of maximizing the public benefits of these sectors.
They also fought for ensure transparency through the creation of real ownership registries in all countries, with public access, using approved standards and without minimum thresholds, as a prior step to articulating a regional registry of global assets.
reinforce the accountability through public participation in decision-making processes related to tax policy is another of the calls of the experts, as well as strengthening the coordination mechanisms of global tax negotiations to achieve greater equity in the global tax system and promote tax progressivity by taxing fortunes and capital income with the aim of avoiding unfair competition and getting closer to economic equality.
The experts signing the statement are: Attiya Waris, Independent expert on the consequences of foreign debt and related international financial obligations of States for the full enjoyment of all human rights, especially economic, social and cultural rights; Farida Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on the right to education; Margaret Satterthwaite, Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers; Irene Khan, Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression; Tomoya Obokata, Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences; Ravindran Daniel (Chairperson-Rapporteur), Sorcha MacLeod, Jelena Aparac, Chris MA Kwaja, Carlos Salazar Couto, Working Group on the use of mercenaries; Damilola Olawuyi (Chair), Robert McCorquodale (Vice-Chair), Fernanda Hopenhaym, Elżbieta Karska, and Pichamon Yeophantong, Working Group on Business and Human Rights; David Boyd, Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment; Obiora Okafor, Independent expert on human rights and international solidarity; Surya Deva, Special Rapporteur on the right to development; Ian Fry, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change; Tlaleng Mofokeng, Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; Mary Lawlor, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; Dorothy Estrada Tanck (Chair), Ivana Radačić (Vice President), Elizabeth Broderick, Melissa Upreti and Meskerem Geset Techane, Working Group on discrimination against women and girlsyes; Alexandra Xanthaki, Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights; Michael Fakhri, Special Rapporteur on the right to food; Reem Alsalem, Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, its causes and consequences; Olivier DeSchutter, Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights; Muluka-Anne Miti-Drummond, Independent expert on the rights of people with albinism.
* The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN human rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent investigative and monitoring mechanisms that address specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent of any government or organization and provide their services in an individual capacity.