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Tax is our social superpower: a uniquely powerful tool by which we can organise themselves to live better lives, together. Tax can deliver the revenues for inclusive public services; the redistribution to curb deep, overlapping inequalities; the repricing of public goods and bads such as tobacco consumption; and effective political representation, based on a powerful social contract that underpins accountable government. Tax has the potential also to support international reparations, responding to the legacies of colonial violence and extraction, and the unequal distribution of the costs and benefits of exhausting our planet.
Since the formal launch of the Tax Justice Network at the UK Houses of Parliament in 2003, the movement has gone from strength to strength. From a tiny base, the first ten years saw a concerted challenge to damaging, dominant narratives – such as that paying less tax was ‘smart’ (rather than anti-social), or reflected a duty to shareholders (who in fact do better when companies are less aggressive in lowering their tax rates). The policy platform set out in the early years was taken from the margins of niche tax discussions to the centre of the global policy agenda, with the G20 countries mandating the OECD to deliver a series of key measures.
The second decade of the Tax Justice Network, coinciding with the first decade of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice – the umbrella body for mass mobilisation organisations across every region of the world – has seen stronger international growth and the further normalisation of positive narratives. Policy progress has been held back, however, by the inability of the OECD to act in the global interest or to withstand lobbying by those who benefit from tax abuse – leaving its reform efforts inevitably partial at best, and consistently skewed against non-members. The focus for tax justice has shifted towards recognising the crucial links with human rights, including women’s rights; and to the restructuring of the global architecture for decision-making, understood as vital if the global inequalities in taxing rights between countries are finally to be ended, and each countries’ peoples empowered to see the progressive taxation to support sustainable human well-being that is demanded by majorities worldwide.
This event will include the findings of an evaluation of the first 20 years of the Tax Justice Network, and look ahead to the next decade. What is the tax justice agenda in each region of the world, and internationally? Where will progress come? Which are the greatest threats, and how will the movement respond?
Watch the session recording here
Featuring contributions from Joseph Stiglitz, Attiya Waris and many more.
International Policy and Advocacy Lead, Tax Justice Network
Sergio is International Policy and Advocacy Lead of the Tax Justice Network. He is an interdisciplinary human rights activist and researcher, and an Atlantic Fellow for Social and Economic Equity since 2021. He has a passionate commitment to forging alliances across movements and geographies to advance economic justice at a global level. Before joining the Tax Justice Network, Sergio worked at the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), where he contributed to build and strengthen the Initiative for Human Rights in Fiscal Policy, a cross-movement coalition that aims to transform the way decisions on public resources are taken. In Colombia, his home country, Sergio worked at the think-do tank Dejusticia, the National Congress, and the Political Council of Bogota. He has also worked as a consultant for several organizations, multilateral agencies, and public institutions, in areas relating to drug policies, decent work, land reform and transitional justice. Sergio holds a MSc in Inequalities and Social Science from the London School of Economics, and he studied economics, philosophy and holds a MA in Law from the National University of Colombia.
Chief Executive, Tax Justice Network@alexcobham
Alex Cobham is an economist and chief executive of the Tax Justice Network. He is also a founding member of the steering group of the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation, and of the technical advisory group for the Fair Tax Mark. His work focuses on illicit financial flows, effective taxation for development, and inequality. He has been a researcher at Oxford University, Christian Aid, Save the Children, and the Center for Global Development, and has consulted widely, including for UNCTAD, the UN Economic Commission for Africa, DFID, and the World Bank. Recent publications include The Uncounted (Polity Press, 2019); and Estimating Illicit Financial Flows (OUP, 2020, with Petr Janský).
On Think Tanks
Andrés Gómez is a political scientist working to connect philanthropy with social sciences. His experience and approach to philanthropy are drawn from years of working with major agencies in humanitarian and development aid, mainly in Latin America. Currently, he helps charitable organizations design, optimise, evaluate and escalate high-impact and cost-effective interventions. He is passionate about understanding state-society relations through the lens of taxation.
Division Director, Fiscal Justice, Global Programs, Open Society Foundations@alvinmosioma
Mr. Alvin Mosioma the Open Society Foundation Global programs Division Director Fiscal Justice. He is an economist and tax policy expert with over 15 years of experience. Mr. Mosioma previously served as the founding Executive Director of Tax Justice Network Africa, a Pan-African Advocacy and Research working on Tax Justice and curbing of IFFs from Africa. He holds a master’s degree in economics from the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. Mr. Mosioma has sat in an advisory capacity on boards of different national regional and global Networks and coalitions This includes the Financial Transparency Coalition (FTC), the Open Government Partnership (OGP) and the Plateforme de Protection des Lanceurs d’Alerte en Afrique (PPLAAF) the Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ). Over the past 15 years, he has published a number of articles and reports on fiscal policy in Africa and has also co-authored two books on taxation and development in Africa.
Irene Ovonji Odida
ICRICT Commissioner, Chair of board, Tax Justice Network@IOvonjiOdida
Irene Ovonji-Odida is a lawyer and women’s rights activist, and is a Non-Executive Director at the Tax Justice Network. She was a Member of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa (Mbeki High Level Panel) and UN FACTI Panel. She is a member of the Independent Commission for Reform of International Corporate Tax (ICRICT), South Center Tax Initiative and the Pan African Lawyers Union task force on Illicit Financial Flows. She previously served in the East African Legislative Assembly, and was International Board Chair for ActionAid International and Chief Executive Officer of the Uganda Association of Women Lawyers.
Head of Research, Tax Justice Networkhttps://twitter.com/miropalansky
Miroslav Palanský is Head of Research at the Tax Justice Network, Senior Researcher at the CORPTAX group at Charles University, and a Research Fellow at the EU Tax Observatory. Through his research, he aims to help in the ongoing fight against corruption, tax abuse and financial secrecy. He holds a Master’s and a Ph.D. in Economics from Charles University and a Master’s in Econometrics from Aix-Marseille University.
Equidad de Género: Ciudadanía, Trabajo y Familia (Gender Equity: Citizenship, Work and Family)@Emilia_Equidad
Emilia Reyes is Programme Director of Policies and Budgets for Equality and Sustainable Development, at Equidad de Género: Ciudadanía, Trabajo y Familia (Gender Equity: Citizenship, Work and Family). She is Co-Convenor of the Women’s Working Group on Financing for Development, as well as a co-lead of the Economic Justice and Rights Action Coalition in the UN Women’s Beijing+25 process. She’s a Contributing Author in the segment “Gender, Climate Justice and Transformative Pathways” of the IPCC report: Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. For five years she was an Organizing Partner of the Women’s Major Group for the 2030 Agenda; for two years she was Co-chair of the High Level Political Forum’s Major Groups and Stakeholders Coordination Mechanism.
Nana Ama Sarfo
Contributing Editor, Tax Notes International@nanaama_sarfo
Nana Ama Sarfo is a contributing editor for Tax Notes International, where she writes about breaking international tax news, including tax transparency; the digital economy; the OECD and UN; tax and ESG; and tax policy in emerging markets & Europe. She is a frequent moderator and panelist for international and academic organizations including the OECD, Tax Justice Network, Council on Economic Policies, and CUNY Baruch Zicklin School of Business. Previously, she was a managing editor for Thomson Reuters in New York and a senior tax reporter for Law360. Ama holds a law degree from Columbia Law School and is a licensed attorney.