Speech/statement | Date: 20/09/2023 | Office of the Prime Minister
By Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (New York)
– Tax revenues are the cornerstone of long-term social progress. Collected and spent sustainably they are an investment for generations to come, said Prime Minister Støre.
Check against delivery
It is a privilege to address this High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development. And to discuss a topic that is close to my heart – tax cooperation and resource mobilisation.
The past years have brought cascading crises that have affected us all, but have been especially severe for developing countries. Financing for development is under pressure.
Our ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 is in jeopardy. But we can still turn the tide.
We must maximise the resources at our disposal and direct them towards sustainable development. International tax cooperation is an integral part of that effort.
The momentum on global tax matters is growing. And with it a long-awaited opportunity to reshape the global economic landscape for the benefit of all.
Tax revenues are the cornerstone of long-term social progress. Collected and spent sustainably they are an investment for generations to come. Progressive taxation and universal access to social services are perhaps the most important tools we have for reducing inequality.
Conversely, illicit financial flows and persistent tax evasion drain resources from sustainable development. In addition, illicit flows threaten the very core of our democracies, and our most important currency, namely trust.
While we are all eager to see more progress, let us not forget that positive steps have already been taken.
The OECD/G20 Two Pillar Solution represents a fundamental shift away from zero-tax. It is a historic milestone. The OECD’s long-standing work on the exchange of financial information for tax purposes has been crucial to combat tax evasion and illicit financial flows.
Similarly, the United Nations Tax Committee has evolved to give greater guidance and capacity building to developing countries in their fight to increase domestic resource mobilisation and curb illicit financial flows.
Going forward, we should build further on what has been achieved in both the UN and the OECD.
Ultimately, our success will hinge on how high we aim and how effectively we collaborate. As Member States we all have a responsibility. It is incumbent on us to foster closer coordination in the tax-related efforts of the UN and the OECD.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I look forward to working with all of you to achieve our common goal: delivering finance for development.