Jeffrey OWENS 

Director of the Global Tax Policy Center. University of Vienna
Eva ANDRÉS-AUCEJO Full professor of Financial and Tax Law. University of Barcelona
Antonio REMIRO BROTONS Full Professor of Public International Law. Madrid Authonomus University
Lawyer of the International Court of Justice- UNITED NATIONS.

Toward a new Framework/Instrument on International Tax Cooperation
Toward a new International Tax Organization

Resolution A/77/441 - Promotion of the United Nations of inclusive and effective international cooperation in matters of taxation.Plenary of General Assembly, UNITED NATIONS (77th session, Macroeconomic Policy questions)

Nowadays, international tax cooperation has entered a new era within the framework of a new architecture of global tax governance with the "Key Role" of the United Nations (Resolution A/77/441).

This resolution lays the foundations for a new Global Tax Legal Order under the umbrella of the United Nations, the most representative international organization in the world, which has institutionalized international cooperation among all the countries in the world under its responsibility.[1]

On December 30th, 2022, the General Assembly of the United Nations approved -by consensus-, the Resolution A/77/441 (77th session, Macroeconomic Policy questions) entitled Promotion of the United Nations of inclusive and effective international cooperation in matters of taxation.

The General Assembly Plenary of the United Nations approved -by consensus- the Resolution A/77/441, which contains the same text included in the previous proposal presented by Commission II of the General Assembly of the United Nations just one month before:

On November 23th, 2022, the Second Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (Economic-Financial Committee) approved -by consensus- Resolution A/C. 2/77 L.11/Rev.1 in the framework of the seventy-seventh session Second Committee, Agenda item 16, Macroeconomic policy issues, under the title: Promotion of the United Nations of inclusive and effective international cooperation Ein matters of taxation. This resolution was defended by the representative of Nigeria in Commission II of the UN General Assembly, representing the African States. The same text was elevated to the General Assembly of the United Nations, finally being approved by consensus before the plenary commission on December 30, 2022.

Both acts grant a pivotal role to the United Nations towards an inclusive and forceful promotion of international tax cooperation. The United Nations emerges as the international organization in charge of strengthening international tax cooperation to make it more inclusive and effective by commissioning some critical actions that must be carried out within the United Nations environment in collaboration with other international organizations and stakeholders.

The United Nations is in charge of improving "effective" and "inclusive" international tax cooperation towards a new Global Economic/Tax Legal Order

The Resolution A/77/441 represents a historic milestone in the modern history of international tax cooperation, assuming the most significant step in collaboration since the signing of the International convention models to avoid double taxation if we consider the global scope that to reach a framework agreement or multilateral instrument on international tax cooperation, beyond a standard of spontaneous international tax cooperation (CRS), beyond specific mechanisms or plans to prevent fraud due to the transfer of tax bases of multinational companies (BEP) and beyond the particular instruments that have been implemented so far, either through hard law rules (multilateral and bilateral treaties) and soft law instruments.

Nowadays, the United Nations is in charge of improving "effective" and "inclusive" international tax cooperation towards a new Global Economic and Legal Order through instruments and actions of significant impact and scope, such as:

  1. In general terms, the General Assembly of the UNITED NATIONS, recognizes the timeliness and importance of strengthening international tax cooperation to make it fully inclusive and more effective.
  2. To make the above possible, the evaluation is foreseen of additional options, including the possibility of developing an international tax cooperation framework or instrument that is developed and agreed upon through a United Nations intergovernmental process, taking into full consideration existing international and multilateral arrangements.
    Note: A proposal for a Framework Agreement on International Tax Cooperation, Trade and International Tax Governance with a holistic nature can be consulted in the Review of International and European Economic Law (www.rieel.com), https://rieel.com/index.php/rieel/article/view/28/23 (J. Owens. Dir.), Andrés-Aucejo, Eva; Mezang, Serge; Nicoli, Marco).
    This general agreement proposal includes an holistic view, with a global scope about international tax cooperation on economic and financial matters, as well as social, cultural, and humanitarian issues (gender, environment, tax education, morality, tax compliance, etc.).
  3. Among the possibilities of international tax cooperation, the possibility of carrying out next steps is approved, such as the establishment of a Member State-led, open-ended ad hoc intergovernmental committee to recommend actions on the options for strengthening the inclusiveness and effectiveness of international tax cooperation.

It represents an extraordinary advance in the state of affairs. For many years, the possibility of creating a global body for global tax cooperation and governance has been unsuccessful. On the 2015 Addis Ababa Conference, this possibility was raised before the General Assembly without success.

Therefore, the approval of this resolution represents an unprecedented success in the history of international tax cooperation relations and will undoubtedly illustrate a turning point in the future and the past, in line with the theses that we have defended and developed extensively in previous years, which is why we consider the advisability of creating an international organization for cooperation and global tax governance within the United Nations family[2] with the cooperation of the rest of international organizations such us the OECD, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, etc. and other international associations uncharged on this matter.


[1] This is in line with the pioneering thesis (in international and tax doctrine) that we have already defended. These were also the theses supported by Eva Andrés Aucejo (resolt of several studies on these matters), in the opposition contest for the body of University Professors, at the Faculty of Law of the University of Barcelona, which she successfully passed to obtain the title of Full Professor on February 14, 2019.

[2] Andrés Aucejo, Eva (2020). The   primary   legal   role   of   the   United   Nations   on international    Tax    Cooperation    and    Global    Tax Governance:     Going     on     a     new     International Organization    on    Global    Tax    Cooperation    and Governance under the UN “Family”. Revista de Educación y Derecho, n. 21.  https://revistes.ub.edu/index.php/RED/article/view/31297/32159

Note: the thesis consisting to create a new center for international tax cooperation under the United Nations family, was defended by the representative of Nigeria in his proposal before Commission II of the United Nations General Assembly, the text of which was approved by consensus on November 23th, 2022, by Resolution A/C. 2/77 L.11/Rev.1.