UN Model Tax Convention: The Albatross Around Developing Countries' Neck - Time for a Tectonic Reset
UN Model Tax Convention:
The Albatross Around Developing Countries’ Neck – Time for a Tectonic Reset
Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed
ABSTRACT: The paper critically explores into the United Nations’ (UN) role in the arena of international taxes from the Global South’s perspective. In fact, it zeroes in on the Global North’s sustained and successful INSTRUMENTALIZATION of the UN as an important tool of neo-colonialism. Consequently, due to the UN’s pandering, the developing countries now find themselves tied in approximately 3,200 DTCs that bargain away their tax base for elusive private foreign investment. In order to amplify and bring the UN’s instrumentalization into spotlight for better comprehension, the paper develops a framework of analysis straddling on the competing supply side capitalism and demand side capitalism strands. The developing countries, if looked at through the demand side capitalism lens, were to be treated as market states, implying that it was developed countries’ need to gain market access by applying standard marketing ploys – incentives and discounts. If, however, they were to be taken as client states, the developing countries would be in the need to compete for capital investment by extending incentives and waivers. It is argued that the client state model was thrust upon the Global South by using the UN as an instrument. The role of the UN Tax Committee (UNTC) is brought to spotlight to drive home the instrumentalization hypothesis. The UN MTC – the UNTC’s main output – is dissected by appraising its effects and outcomes for developing countries. The OECD’s contestation with the UN in international taxes is demythified to hammer home the point that, at best, it was a host-parasite relationship, respectively. The counter-majoritarianism and the perverse notion of equality seeded via the ECOSOC Resolution 1273 of 1967 are unravelled and debunked by incorporating the Rawlsian view of equity. It has been stipulated that the pre-existing neo-colonial infrastructure has lived out its life and is up for replacement with a system that is not only in sync with the 21st century imperatives, but also falls on all fours of the principles of equitable justice – in an inter-state context.

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