Ideal Ways to Fund the Addis Ababa Agenda

    The Second Committee hosted a meeting on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development. This agenda provides a foundation for implementing the 2030 SDGs, and it aims to foster universal economic prosperity.

    The meeting began with opening remarks from the co-chairs of the Second Committee. His Excellency Oh Joon discussed the policy aspects of the Action Agenda. He stated that taxation represents a stable and predictable source of finance, and that it is central to financing provision of public goods and services in developing countries. Finally, he explained that fiscal policy represents a social contract between the state and its citizens.

    His Excellency Andrej Logar highlighted the importance of domestic resource mobilization and international support. He also agreed with His Excellency Oh Joon on the belief that taxation is critical to financial sustainable development. He explains that there is evidence of high return in a tax collection system for developing countries, and gives the example of Kenya, which was able to increase its tax revenue from 52 million dollars in 2015 to 85 million for the following fiscal year.

    After the introductory remarks followed keynote addresses by panelists. One notable speaker was Professor David Rosenbloom, who teaches at the NYU School of Law. He has worked in the field of taxation for 47 years, and specifically international taxation for 38 years. He explains that governments need money, and taxation far beats debt financing or devaluing currency in terms of efficiency. An income tax system has three goals: efficiency in interfering as little as possible of economic choice, fairness in that taxpayers have impressions that they are treated no less fairly than everyone else, and simplicity so that tax laws could be understood.

Meeting: Joint meeting on “Domestic Resource Mobilization: Where to go after Addis?”

Date/Location: Wednesday November 11, 2015, 10:00 – 13:00; Conference Room 2

Speakers: His Excellency Oh Joon (Republic of Korea), President of the Economic and Social Council; His Excellency Andrej Logar (Slovenia), Chair of the Second Committee; Mr. Alexander Trepelkov, Director, Financing for Development Office, Department of Economic and Social Affairs; Professor David Rosenbloom, James S. Eustice Visiting Professor of Practice and Taxation, and Director, International Tax Program, New York University; Ms. Victoria Perry, Assistant Director and Chief, Tax Policy Division, Fiscal Affairs Department, International Monetary Fund; Ms. Blanca Moreno-Dodson, Lead Economist for Tax Policy, Macro and Fiscal Management Global Practice, World Bank; Ms. Gail Hurley, Policy Specialist on Development Finance, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, United Nations Development Programme; Mr. Tatu Ilunga, Senior Policy Advisor, Tax and Extractive Industries, Oxfam America; Mr. Eric Mensah, Assistant Commissioner, Ghana Revenue Authority, and Member, United Nations Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters (via telephone or video link)

Written By: WIT Representative Kangho (Paul) Jung

Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

International Trade and Development

Trade and Development

Trade and Development

Mr. Suescum presented a report on debt sustainability. “Rising interest rates and falling commodity price rates suggest an increased risk of sovereign debt problems in the future.” The international community agreed to handle these problems collectively with tighter financial regulations while promoting sustained economic growth and addressing the root causes of underdevelopment in developing countries. There was a general agreement that the trading systems should focus on the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) realization.

Mr. Valles spoke next, noting that SDGs are based around trade in many regards. World trade grew 3.2% last year, will grow 3.8% this year, and perhaps 4.8% next year. Most of the growth in 2014 came from Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The 20 largest exporters represented 71% of world exports, indicating a trade inequality that requires policy attention. It is important to “mitigate the risks of trade adjustment mechanisms, especially for the poor.”

Mr. Kim’s report discussed the effect of unilateral economic measures on developing countries. These sanctions have an adverse impact on developing countries, and that the number of sanctions has increased in recent years. This has had some severe consequences, affecting “human rights, public welfare”, and countries’ “long term growth prospects.”

South Africa, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, echoed by Jamaica, AOSIS, and the Group of Least Developed Countries, believes the international trade system should favor developing countries. It is important to eliminate all trade distorting measures.

Ecuador and Zambia, speaking on behalf of the ECLAC and GLLDC, respectively, cited the need for countries to fulfill the pledges they made to send aid to the least developed countries as their stake in the international market has “hovered around 1%” for 40 years. The European Union, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand highlighted their commitment to combatting climate change.

Meeting: Second Committee, 19th Session

Date/Location: Monday, October 26, 2015; 15:00-18:00, Conference Room 2

Speakers: Alfredo Suescum, Vice-President of the Trade and Development Board; Guillermo Valles, Director of the International Trade in Goods, Services and Commodities Division, UNCTAD; Alexander Trepelkov, Director, Financing for Development Office, UN-DESA; Dusan Zivkovic, Debt and Development Finance Branch, Division on Globalization and Development Strategies of UNCTAD; Namsuk Kim, Development Policy and Analysis Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs; H.E. Mr. Ramlan Bin Ibrahim, Malaysia; Mr. Thulani Nyembe, South Africa; H.E. Mr. Ahmed Sareer, Maldives; H.E. Dr. Mwaba Patricia Kasese-Bota, Zambia; H.E. Mr. Gerard Van Bohemen; Mr. Adebayo Babajide, European Union; Mr. Fred Sarufa, Papua New Guinea; H.E. Mr. Diego Morejón Pazmiño, Ecuador; H.E. Mr. Abulkalam Abdul Momen, Bangladesh; H.E. Mr. E. Courtenay Rattray, Jamaica; Ms. Caralyn Schwalger, New Zealand.

Written by: Alex Margolick

Edited by: Modou Cham