Dialogue on Tax and SDGs

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Columbia University and the Government of Norway organized a three-day Dialogue on Tax and SDGs in New York on 30 November – 2 December 2022 to build a shared understanding of taxation and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The first-of-its-kind dialogue gathered high-level academics, policymakers, diplomats and tax administrations to discuss how tax and fiscal policies can be leveraged to their fullest potential to achieve the SDGs.

Learn more about the dialogue here and watch the full recordings of the sessions below.

On This Page

Day 1 – Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Opening: Welcome Participants

  • Achim Steiner, Administrator, UNDP
  • Haoliang Xu, Assistant Secretary-General, and Director of the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP 
  • Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate, University Professor, Columbia University
  • H.E. Bjørg Sandkjær, State Secretary, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Government of Norway

Session 1: Need For Shared Understanding on Tax and SDGs Across MFA, MoF and NTA

  • Mariana Mazzucato, Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London (UCL), and Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose
  • Fatema Z. Sumar, Executive Director, Center for International Development, Harvard University
  • Moderated by Marcos Neto, Director, Sustainable Finance Hub, UNDP

Key Remarks 

  • H.E. Ambassador Elina Kalkku, Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations

Session 2: Tax and SDGs: Basics and Need for an Architecture

  • Irma Mosquera, Tax Expert, UNDP and Professor, Tax Governance, Leiden University (PPT)
  • Munawer Khwaja, Technical Expert, SDG Taxation Frameworks, UNDP
  • Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts at Amherst (PPT)
  • Moderated by Ahtesham Khan, Head of Tax for SDGs, UNDP

Session 3: Evidence-based Tax Policies and SDGs

  • Asim Khwaja, Professor of International Finance and Development, Harvard University (PPT)
  • Gabriel Zucman, Associate Professor of Economics, UC Berkeley (PPT)
  • Moderated by Pedro Conceição, Director, Human Development Report Office, UNDP 

Tax – Critical to Achieving SDGs 

  • Raymond Gilpin, Chief Economist and Head of Strategy, Regional Bureau for Africa, UNDP

Session 4: Multilateral Approaches to Tax and SDGs

  • Mauricio Cárdenas, Director, MPA in Global Leadership, and Global Senior Research Fellow, Center on Global Energy Policy, Columbia University (PPT)
  • Djamel Ghrib, Director for Economic Development, Integration and Trade, African Union Commission
  • Mary Baine, Deputy Executive Secretary, African Tax Administration Forum
  • Moderated by Nara Monkam, Tax Expert, UNDP and Associate Professor Public Economics, University of Pretoria

Day 2 – Thursday, 01 December 2022

Key Remarks

  • H.E. Ambassador Tijjani Muhammad Bande, Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations

Discussion on Tax and SDGs – Building Country Level Political Support

  • Ulrika Modéer, Assistant Secretary-General, and Director of the Bureau for External Relations and Advocacy, UNDP
  • Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate, University Professor, Columbia University

Session 5: Tax, Private Sector Governance and SDGs

  • Christian Kaeser, Chairman, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Tax Commission
  • Peter Hongler, Tax Expert, UNDP and Professor of Tax Law at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland (PPT)
  • Moderated by Thomas Beloe, Chief of Programme, Sustainable Finance Hub, UNDP 

Session 6: Tax, Health, Environment and Climate Change

  • Bernadette Ann-Marie O'Hare, Senior Lecturer in Global Child Health, University of St. Andrews (PPT)
  • Alexandra Readhead, Lead, Tax and Extractives, Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development
  • Moderated by George Gray Molina, SPE Head and Chief Economist, UNDP

Session 7: Taxation, Inclusion and Human Rights

  • Rebecca Riddell, Counsel, Human Rights and Privatization Project, NYU School of Law; and Legal and Policy Director, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers
  • Rachel Beach, Regional Tax Specialist for the Arab States, UNDP
  • Moderated by Raymond Gilpin, Chief Economist and Head of Strategy, Regional Bureau for Africa, UNDP

Session 8: Progressive Taxation Systems, Gender Equality and SDGs

  • Nora Lustig, Director of the Commitment to Equity Institute (CEQ), Tulane University
  • Caren Grown, Senior Fellow, Center for Sustainable Development, Brookings Institution
  • Chenai Mukumba, Policy Research and Advocacy Manager, Tax Justice Network Africa

Day 3 – Friday, 02 December 2022

Keynote Address 

  • H.E. José Antonio Ocampo, Minister of Finance and Public Credit, Government of Colombia (PPT)

Discussion on Tax and SDGs

  •  Jacob Joseph Lew, Former United States Secretary of the Treasury
  • Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate, University Professor, Columbia University

Session 9: Journalism, Tax and SDGs

  1. Jesse Drucker, Reporter, New York Times
  2. Will Fitzgibbon, Senior Reporter, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (PPT)
  3. Moderated by Anya Schiffrin, Director of Technology, Media, and Communications, School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), Columbia University

Session 10: Tax Expenditures, Extractive Industries, Energy and SDGs

  • Agustin Redonda, Tax Expert, UNDP and Senior Fellow, Council on Economic Policies, Zurich (PPT)
  • Roberto Arias, Former Secretary of Tax Policy, Government of Argentina (PPT)
  • Carlos Lopes, UN Secretary General’s High-Level Expert Group on the Net-Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities
  • Moderated by Jenik Radon, Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

Session 11: Auxiliary Institutions, Civil Society, Tax and SDGs

  • Alex Cobham, Chief Executive, Tax Justice Network (PPT)
  • Abdul Muheet Chowdhary, Senior Programme Officer, South Centre, Geneva (PPT)
  • Lakshmi Kumar, Policy Director, Global Financial Integrity, Washington, D.C. (PPT)
  • Moderated by Chenai Mukumba, Policy Research and Advocacy Manager, Tax Justice Network Africa

Session 12: Need for sustained investments in national tax systems

  • Melissa Säilä, Programme Director, Taxation for Development Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland
  • Mamadou Biteye, Executive Secretary, African Capacity Building Foundation (PPT)
  • Stefanie Rauscher, Coordinator of the International Tax Compact, Addis Tax Initiative
  • Moderated by Toril-Iren Pedersen, Assistant Director, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation

Way Forward and Closing

  • Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate, University Professor, Columbia University
  • Haoliang Xu, Assistant Secretary-General, and Director of the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP
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