UN Role in International Tax Order

Taxation Law Research Programme (TLRP)

United Nations Role in International Tax Order:
Past, Present and Future

28 February 2024

Powerpoint is available HERE.

The international tax order has historically been OECD-centric with the UN playing second fiddle – if at all. However, of late, a lot is happening not only at the OECD but also at the UN, which could disrupt the international tax system and leave it in a state of disarray; if not anarchy. Past. An effort will be made to lay bare the revisionist viewpoint of the UN’s entry to and role within the international taxation system, and its outcomes particularly for the Global South. Present. The UN’s posturing not only at the Tax Committee level but also via other institutional interventions, may be indicative of a more dominant role across the international tax scene, which will be contextualized by connecting dots into the bigger picture. Future. While the OECD grapples with its two Pillars, the UN General Assembly Resolution 77/244 may have laid the foundations for the raising of a whole new Column – perhaps a Superstructure. While being tax-technical to the extent possible, this presentation will provide a critical snapshot of the current international tax scene with possible forebodings for the future.

About the Speaker
Dr M Ashfaq Ahmed is a Pakistan Inland Revenue Service (IRS) officer and holds PhD in the Political Economy of Taxation. Until last year he was Chairman, Federal Board of Revenue, Pakistan, in which capacity he headed both the Inland Revenue and the Customs administrations. Previously, he has headed domestic tax administration and held the position of Director General, International Taxes, where his responsibilities included negotiations, upgrading and execution of Double Taxation Agreements, as well as coordination with multilateral forums and international organizations. He writes extensively and speaks widely on issues related to international taxation, treaty negotiations, international tax diplomacy, and environmental taxation. He is currently a Member of United Nations Tax Committee.

Chair: Professor Richard Cullen, TLRP Convenor

Enquiries: Flora Leung at aiiflhku@hku.hk