The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the group of states not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc, has called on the United Nations (UN) to lead a global offensive to curb illicit financial flows (IFFs).

The group comprising mainly countries in the southern hemisphere also wants to see global action on tax avoidance and evasion, corruption and money laundering, including trade mis-invoicing.

Southern concerns

NAM is particularly concerned about a global lack of oversight on certain jurisdictions and practices that enable IFFs and other financial crimes that have negative impacts on the world economy and, in particular on developing countries.

Despite international recognition of the need for global cooperation on tax matters, NAM points out there is still no single worldwide inclusive forum for international tax cooperation at the intergovernmental level.

Call on UN

So NAM is calling for a full upgrade of the UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters into an intergovernmental body with sufficient resources to fulfil its mandate. NAM also wants to see increased participation of experts from developing countries at the committee’s meetings.

At an informal workshop on International Taxation held in May 2017, India’s permanent representative to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, said “there is a need for enhanced international cooperation to address illicit cross-border flows, tax evasion and trade mis-invoicing.”