“The regional initiative aims to agree on common tax standards to combat illicit financial flows, tax evasion and avoidance, and other shared problems, such as rising poverty, inequality, and the climate emergency. In addition, under the Secretariat of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the initiative will hopefully serve as a permanent, transparent, and inclusive decision-making platform for regional tax cooperation.
We call on all States to engage decisively in these regional tax negotiations to ensure compliance with their obligations to mobilise their maximum available resources to respect, protect and fulfil human rights at the national and extraterritorial levels; to raise sufficient resources to finance quality public services, including social protection, education and health, that enable the full enjoyment of all human rights; to ensure a gender-responsive and just transition; and to promote inclusive and sustainable development.
Promote tax progressivity and undertake tax reforms in Latin American and Caribbean countries that tax wealth and capital income to avoid tax competition (race to the bottom practices) and promote economic equality.
Fight tax havens and illicit financial flows including by combating tax evasion and avoidance through “tax havens”, as part of the duty of States to mobilise the maximum available resources to fulfil human rights. Ensure that independent judicial systems can effectively combat illicit financial flows and recovery of stolen assets.
Agree on green taxes and undertake coordinated fiscal policies on fossil fuels, carbon emissions and on taxes on extractive industries and transitional minerals, with the aim of maximising public benefits from these sectors.
Strengthen participation and accountability: Latin American and Caribbean countries should promote public participation in decision-making processes related to taxation. This includes promoting active, free and meaningful participation of civil society organisations, especially those led by women, human rights defenders, affected communities, and marginalised groups in tax negotiations. Their perspectives and voices must be heard to ensure that tax policies and agreements are inclusive, transparent, and accountable.
Ensure transparency: including by implementing beneficial ownership registries in all countries, with public access, using homologated standards and without minimum thresholds, as a preliminary step to articulating a regional registry of global assets.
We wish to remind States and business enterprises of their respective obligations and responsibilities to protect and respect human rights, including in the context of their fiscal decision-making processes, and ensure that their tax policies are in line with their human rights commitments and relevant international standards, including the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This is a unique opportunity for Latin America and the Caribbean to strengthen coordination on tax issues and join forces to ensure that States can meet their human rights obligations; address negative human rights impacts of business enterprises; strengthen access to quality public goods, facilities and services; and prevent and respond to the climate emergency.”
Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work voluntarily; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent of any government or organisation and serve in their individual capacity.
For further information and media requests, please contact María Muñoz Maraver ([email protected])