Failure in Addis Ababa: trouble ahead for development

July 15th, 2015


Tonight, the Addis Ababa outcome was closed. The final outcome rejects the proposal of establishing an intergovernmental UN body on tax matters, and instead introduces some minor changes to the existing UN expert committee. This means that the OECD will remain the only intergovernmental body that adopts global standards on tax matters.

 “This is not only a tragic day for the world’s developing countries, who will now have to accept that global tax standards will get decided in a closed room where they are not welcome,” said Tove Maria Ryding, Policy and Advocacy Manager of the European Network on Debt and Development. “It is a tragic day for all of us, because a global tax system where half of the world’s countries are excluded from decision-making will never be effective. As long as our governments keep failing to cooperate on tax matters, multinational corporations will be able to dodge taxes. At the end of the day, the Addis Ababa failure will impact us all.”

“This came down to power,” said Alvin Mosioma, Executive Director of the Tax Justice Network Africa. “The powerful simply did not want to cede one ounce of their authority to the rest of the world, and they succeeded in preserving their control.”

“Developing countries have fought hard for this body but today’s agreement will do nothing but keep them in a patronizing system where a group of 34 countries hold all of the power,” said Pooja Rangaprasad of the Financial Transparency Coalition. “Rich countries decided to maintain a system where money goes from south to north, but the rules follow the opposite route.”

“This is a dangerous failure of multilateralism and a triumph for a few,” said Jorge Coronado, President of the Latin American Network on Debt, Development and Rights. “The agreement will simply continue to allow the powerful to dictate rules for the entire globe.”

“Developing countries, including a number from Latin America, made their voice heard on the need for a democratic process,” said Jorge Coronado, President of Latin American Network on Debt Development and Rights. “But rich countries and their multinationals decided there would be no room for them.”

“It was a painful moment to see the developed countries celebrating the fact that nothing will change and everything will remain the same,” added Ryding. “This sets a terrible precedent for the post-2015 and climate negotiations. This was never a negotiation in good faith, and the developed countries have consistently refused to even discuss the issues on the table.”


Kwesi Obeng, Tax Justice Network Africa, +251 (0) 9 43 17 28 71

Christian Freymeyer
001 410 490 6850

Julia Ravenscroft
+251 (0) 965286523

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