Ambassador Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations (UN), says Nigeria will continue to champion global tax cooperation discourse at the ongoing 78th session of UN General Assembly (UNGA).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nigerian delegation had, during the 77th session of UNGA, presented a historic resolution entitled “Promotion of Inclusive and effective International Tax Cooperation at the United Nations’’.
The resolution laid the foundation for the creation of a new system of international tax cooperation that should be universal in scope and approach.
With this, member states agreed for the first time to have a convention on tax cooperation and to annually discuss global tax issues and review progress.
The motion, submitted for consideration by Nigeria on behalf of 54-member African Group of States, was adopted by consensus after some discussions on a failed amendment.
Muhammad-Bande told NAN in New York that the resolution was important in the context of financing for development, noting that the element of taxation wad connected to illicit flows.
“All the conversations are continuing; the resolution on taxation itself, we are just at the beginning of the process, now that it has been mandated that something be done.
“What will happen now is to sit down and see what can be done to ensure that such a convention or treaty is arrived at.
“That will be a lot of negotiations; countries, blocs, coalitions, but by and large, globally, it is understood that it is important to have a binding document relating to taxation that looks at the interest of all parts of the world at the same time.
“So, this is important. Nigeria will continue to champion its course not only on Africa, but also developing countries.
“Again, Nigeria is not just talking about this. We are part of a global community.
“And we want justice and operations of countries in the context of the Charter of the United Nations, which we are all members.”
Apart from this resolution, the envoy said that Africa states did well by bringing issues that were important to them alongside developing countries at the 77th Session of the General Assembly.
According to him, the Assembly is not just about developing or developed countries.
“It is about humanity as issues on human rights, climate change and post COVID-19 recovery have always been on the table for discussion,” he said,
Muhammad-Bande told NAN that it had been very difficult for countries, especially in the South, to recover from the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The envoy said that it was difficult to recover faster from COVID-19 because of indebtedness of some countries which had made it difficult for them to finance development.
“The Assembly has understood this repeatedly through the steps of production. The assembly, through resolutions and also through statements and the actions of the Secretary General, willl continue to have instability in those countries.’’
In addition, the assembly would continue to have more discussions concerning how to work more closely with financial institutions and global financial institutions and banks,” he added.
He said that there would be more talks to work with financial institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to give a bit of space for countries that were highly indebted, to survive.
Muhammad-Bande also told NAN that Nigeria would join other UN Member States in discussing other global issues from terrorism, climate issues, to issues of economic development.
The Nigerian envoy said the country would also join in the discussion on technology and the impact of technology on societies and the question of inequalities around the world within and between nations.
The envoy said the session was convened under the shadow of Europe’s first major war since World War II – the conflict between Russia and Ukraine – which unleased a global food crisis and opened cracks among powers in a way not seen since the Cold War.
“Most of the discussions went well; the main problem obviously has been the unfortunate situation of the war in Ukraine, which has, in a way, impacted on some of the negotiations.
“By and large, the President and members of the Assembly did well to continue to focus on important things, regardless.
“There are lots of discussions which were successfully held concerning developing countries, concerning climate actions, concerning inequalities,’’ he said.
NAN reports that the 77th session, which held between Sept. 13, 2022 and Dec. 30, 2022, adopted 240 resolutions and 29 decisions, many of which are of interest to Nigeria.
Some of the resolutions are “assistance of refugees, returnees and displaced persons in Africa; the right to privacy in the digital age; trafficking in women and girls, among others.
The Nigerian delegation also drafted and coordinated resolutions on behalf of the G77 and China entitled “Promotion of International Cooperation to Combat illicit Financial Flows and strengthen good practices on Assets return to foster Sustainable Development, and International Trade and Development”.
The General Assembly is the main policy making and representative organ of the United Nations.
It is composed of representatives of the 193 Member States and other entitles which meet in sessions dedicated to discussions on current issues of critical importance to the international community. (NAN)