United Nations System

SouthViews No. 262, 24 April 2024

The Global Digital Compact we need for people and the planet

 by Anita Gurumurthy, Nandini Chami, Shreeja Sen, Merrin Muhammed Ashraf of IT for Change

The Zero Draft of the Global Digital Compact (GDC) to be adopted at the Summit of the Future is crucial to international digital cooperation under a transformative vision of global digital governance. It should identify the means for achieving equitable participation, sustainable development, gender equality, increased local capacity, public ownership of core digital infrastructure and address the concentration of power in the digital economy. This SouthViews considers some of the shortcomings of the draft GDC, particularly in attaining equitable international data governance and democratic participation in a digital multistakeholder scenario to avoid data monopolies and ensure inclusive policy-making processes, while recentering the objectives of Internet governance for inclusive and development-oriented information societies.

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Dialogue with the G77+China Countries, 11 April 2024

A Dialogue with the G77+China Countries

Summit of the Future: risk and opportunities for developing countries

Co-organised by South Centre & Transnational Institute

11 April 2024, 13:00-15:00 (CET)

Geneva, Switzerland

Venue: International Environment House II, Chemin de Balexert 7-9, 1219 Vernier

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Research Paper 187, 4 December 2023

The Global Digital Compact: opportunities and challenges for developing countries in a fragmented digital space

By Carlos Correa, Danish, Vitor Ido, Jacquelene Mwangi and Daniel Uribe

The adoption of a Global Digital Compact (GDC) as one of the outcomes of the Summit of the Future opens up the opportunity to address in a systematic manner issues that are of critical importance for the digital global governance. It also poses a challenge to developing countries, as most of them lack the infrastructure and capabilities to fully participate in the digital transformation. Many inequalities, including a deep digital divide, do exist and would need to be addressed by the GDC for it to become a real instrument of change and improvement in the living conditions and the prospects of a better future for most of the world population. This paper examines the current fragmentation in the digital governance and some of the issues raised by the proposals made by the UN Secretary-General for adoption of the GDC.

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SC/TNI Public Workshop – Multistakeholderism & UN 2.0, 7 September 2023

Public Workshop

Multistakeholderism and UN 2.0: Challenges and Alternatives for Developing Countries

 7 September 2023 | 10:00 – 11:30 EDT

 Co-organized By the South Centre and the Transnational Institute

Co-sponsored by Corporate Accountability and ESCR NET, Peoples´ Working Group on Multistakeholderism

This Public Workshop will discuss the findings of a new report commissioned jointly by South Centre and The Transnational Institute (TNI) and elaborated by Prof. Harris Gleckman on the idea of the increasing role of ‘multistakeholderism’ in making key policy and programmatic decisions in the context of the United Nations and other fora. The workshop will also serve as an opportunity to discuss the recommendations on how to deal with multistakeholderism and its risks for global governance and the participation of developing countries.

This event is designed as an open forum to foster dialogue and share views among representatives of the Group of 77 and China, particularly those based in Geneva and New York, and civil society organizations.

The public forum will be held in a hybrid format.

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SC Contribution to the UNSG Report, 24 February 2023

Strengthening United Nations Actions in the Field of Human Rights through the Promotion of International Cooperation

South Centre

Geneva, 24 February 2023

The South Centre submits the following written contribution to the United Nations Secretary General’s Report on ‘Strengthening the United Nations’ action in the field of human rights through the promotion of international cooperation’, in line with the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution A/RES/76/164, adopted on 16 December 2021. The resolution recognises the need for respecting the political, economic and social realities of each society in compliance with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations. The report to be presented by the Secretary-General to the UNGA represents an important opportunity to recognise that global challenges do not affect all societies equally, and that they require a broader consideration of policies and innovative solutions that can cater to the unique realities and specific needs of each society.

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Online Policy Dialogue on the Impacts of ‘Multistakeholderism’ on Multilateral Governance, 2 June 2022

Online Policy Dialogue on the Impacts of ‘Multistakeholderism’ on Multilateral Governance

2 June 2022 | 14:30 – 16:00 CEST

The South Centre and the Transnational Institute, with the support of the Peoples’ Working Group on Multistakeholderism (PWGM), are co-organizing an online policy dialogue with developing countries’ representatives in Geneva and New York and civil society organizations to discuss the characteristic, impact and challenges that multistakeholderism brings to day-to-day multilateral governance.

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Tax Cooperation Policy Brief 21, November 2021

Streamlining the Architecture of International Tax through a UN Framework Convention on Tax Cooperation

By Abdul Muheet Chowdhary and Sol Picciotto

The architecture of international taxation at present is fragmented among multiple institutions. The UN Tax Committee, the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes are some of the key institutions which set multiple and overlapping international tax standards. The lack of a genuinely global international tax body has long been a lacunae in the international economic system and a disadvantage for developing countries, who are unable to participate in international tax standard setting as full and equal participants. This has been borne out most recently by the Two Pillar Solution for taxing the digital economy that has come from the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework. The G-77’s renewed demand for a global tax body shows the issue continues to remain a priority for developing countries.

This Policy Brief provides a way for bringing the existing plethora of institutions under unified, universal and democratic control through a UN Framework Convention on Tax Cooperation (UN FCTC). This idea builds on the long-standing idea of a UN Tax Convention, which has also been recommended by the UN FACTI Panel. A UN FCTC would function similarly to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN FCCC), through a Conference of Parties (COP) which would give the existing institutions such as the UN Tax Committee and Inclusive Framework mandates to work on. In this regard, it would replace the narrow mandates of the OECD and G20 with mandates coming from all the Parties to the UN FCTC, which could be all countries, both developed and developing. A UN FCTC thus provides a practical and realistic way forward for a genuinely universal, intergovernmental framework for international tax rule making under the auspices of the United Nations.

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