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African Union calls for inclusive taxation

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Developing countries hope to gain more power over global tax affairs in a crucial vote at the United Nations in New York on Wednesday. The draft resolution calls on members to decide to lay the groundwork for a new UN tax convention. This could shift influence from bodies traditionally dominated by rich countries, such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), towards the UN, where developing countries have a greater say, campaigners say. Proposed by a group representing the African Union’s 54 member states at the UN, the resolution would give the New York-based body powers “to monitor, evaluate and adopt global tax rules,” the Tax Justice Network (TJN) said. However, some developed countries faced great resistance. Rich Western nations have long waged diplomatic battles over which forum should have authority over the countries’ tax affairs. Even if the vote goes ahead, there is a risk that wealthier UN members could resist providing the funds needed to staff the initiative. However, campaigners believe it may not be blocked in the same way as previous efforts. The UN Secretary-General has also committed the resources of his office to support the negotiation process.

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