In a world that suffers from multiple crises: the climate crisis, a push-back on human rights and gender justice, forced migration and economic inequality, the need for financial resources is crucial. But the current international economic and tax system exacerbates inequalities and causes depletion of the creation, for the sake of generating profit. According to the Tax Justice Network’s The State of Tax Justice 2023, countries are losing a total of over USD 480 billion in tax revenues each year to international corporate tax abuse and private tax evasion. This has a direct impact on the ability of countries to address poverty and provide basic services for their citizens.
The Lutheran World Federation affirms the discussions and process towards the development of an international legally binding tax convention that was mandated by the United Nations General Assembly in 2022. The prospects of a multi-lateral convention to stop tax abuse is a sign of hope in these times of multi-crises.
We reiterate LWF Assembly’s call from 2017, for churches and related organizations everywhere to stand up and demand fair redistribution of wealth and social protection, as a matter of justice and human rights. The Lutheran World Federation remains committed and will continue advocating for economic justice and tax justice together with ecumenical, interfaith and civil society partners.
We further call on LWF member churches to embody hope in the public space, through calling for a new international financial and economic architecture through demanding an inclusive, democratic and legally binding global tax convention.
As the world’s leaders are gathered in New York for the 2023 UN General Assembly and the Sustainable Development Goals Summit, the Lutheran World Federation Assembly calls on the Member States of the United Nations to:
- Expedite the process of developing the proposed legally binding UN Convention on Tax, ensuring that it is fair, just and equitable.
- Ensure the meaningful participation and contribution of civil society, including churches and other faith communities, in the process of drafting the proposed tax convention.