HAVANA, Cuba – The Bahamas has called on the Group of 77 to support initiatives aimed at getting the United Nations to be regarded as a “more inclusive and effective body” for international tax cooperation and administration.
Prime Minister Phillip Davis in an address to the two-day summit of the Group of 77 and China that ended here on Saturday, said that the United Nations is the appropriate body to design and build a truly equitable and inclusive international tax administration architecture with equal footed representation, an environment of one country, one vote.
“For too long we have all lived in an environment where global tax policy was mandated and designed by the OECD where concepts underpinning the current international tax system prefer the interests of the global north, that is, OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) members and developed countries, at the expense of small developing countries, primarily black governed former colonies in the Global South, former colonies of those same members of the OECD.”
Davis said that the arbitrary and discriminatory actions of the OECD and European Union have disproportionately affected countries of the global south, already reeling from actions and impacts of countries from the global north.
“ The climate crisis is largely created by industrialized countries, many in the global north. The effect of the climate crisis is felt disproportionately by small developing countries like The Bahamas.
“This is exacerbated by the arbitrary blacklisting of these same vulnerable countries such as The Bahamas from the very same countries that are responsible for the climate crisis. For example, when it comes to insurance, these blacklists result in any remittances from European re-insurers on claims being automatically reduced by at least 25 per cent”.
Davis said that a significant percentage of the monies owed is punitively retained by the European Union, adding “we are thus poorer and less able to rebuild because of the effects of the climate crisis.
“We demand equal treatment, we demand the UN be the proper arbiter in tax matters, we demand privileged multilateral organizations like the OECD take your knee off the proverbial necks off countries like The Bahamas, countries of the global south.
“So, the way forward for the G77 is clear: It’s a path paved with technology, driven by the ambitions and aspirations of our youth, and steered by the collective wisdom of our nations.”
He said that the members of the G77 also must make a stand in support of equality among countries and governance at appropriate forums such as the UN, an environment where developing countries in the global south have the same policy impact globally as developed countries of the Global North.
“By championing their involvement and ensuring they are at the forefront of decision-making, we are not just investing in our future but ensuring a trajectory of progress, unity, and solidarity,” Davis told the summit.