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The Republic of Ecuador, currently chair of the largest single coalition of developing countries at the United Nations, is reviving a longstanding campaign for the creation of an inter-governmental UN tax body and the elimination of tax havens and illicit financial flows.


Practicing what it preaches, Ecuador says it is the world’s first country to hold a nation-wide referendum on tax havens, scheduled to take place on February 19.
Addressing a meeting of the 134-member Group of 77 (G77) on January 13, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, who was anointed the new G77 chair for 2017, said “illegitimate wealth mostly affected the world’s poorer nations”.

Automatic exchange of bank account information (AEOI) under the OECD’s Common Reporting Standard (CRS) is set to start during 2017. While more than 100 countries have committed to implement it, there are serious loopholes and concerns with regards to access by all countries (especially developing ones), its enforcement, the limited use of the information that can be obtained and the lack of participation by the United States. 

Read the report of Tax Justice Network

 

Pointing to the rise in populism and xenophobia, the labour leaders are demanding that governments act to hold corporations responsible for their global supply chains, adopt policies and regulations to ensure the benefits of digitalisation flow to workers and their families, crack down on company tax avoidance and put in place just transition measures in the fight against climate change. The unions are also highlighting the threat to democracy and livelihoods from cyber-attacks, and calling for a humane and rights-based approach to the refugee crisis.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted yesterday to give the greenlight to Rex Tillerson’s nomination for Secretary of State. Assuming he is confirmed by the full Senate—which at this point is all but certain—Tillerson will play a critical role in shaping US foreign policy from the helm of the State Department with important implications for global development. While, like other nominees, some of Tillerson’s stated positions appear out of sync with those espoused by President Trump, it’s worth examining where Tillerson is on the record when it comes to issues of development and humanitarian relief.

Investment of 2% of GDP in these two sectors would generate economic growth of up to 3.2% and create more than 40 million new jobs. While the analysis shows some differences between the six countries studied – Brazil, China, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia and South Africa – the results are in all cases a major boost to employment and the economy overall, and would contribute to meeting key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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