Letter from a concerned father to Ramy Mohamed Youssef, Chair of the UN Tax Convention Committee, so he ensures the world gets a new fair global tax system. The historic vote to grow the UN’s role in international tax is a golden opportunity for more inclusive decision-making and fairer taxation for all nations.

Climate Protest at COP 17. © Shayne Robinson / Greenpeace
Greenpeace takes to the streets and joins with over a thousand climate activists, NGO members and other representatives demanding urgent climate action.

Dear Mr. Ramy Mohamed Youssef,

As the Chair of the UN Tax Convention Committee, you have the power to create history this year.

I’m writing to you as a dad, a concerned citizen and a taxpayer. Today I feel angry and afraid, since I’m witnessing the collapse of everything that’s important to us: from peace to essential ecosystems. How is this possible?

We both know that this is mostly because multinational corporations have been exploiting the majority of the world for way too long, and governments in some rich countries have facilitated it. They’re making billions on the destruction of the world and our suffering. And then, they hide their profits in tax havens. A downward spiral where wealth and power have become so concentrated as to threaten democracy, civilisation and the living world we’re part of

I come from Africa, an incredibly rich continent where wealth doesn’t stay. How can I explain this to my kids? I could tell them that this is because of the way the economy is set up. A system that enables plundering, exploitation and around US$480 billion that are lost to tax havens each year, instead of funding what is really essential.

I could also tell my kids that humanity has all the money, knowledge and technology we need to thrive. So it is in humanity’s hands to prioritize the wellbeing of people and the planet. Especially now, when access to basic standard of living, health, education and social security is getting more and more difficult, as the planet heats and extreme weather events become more frequent, putting us and all living things at risk.

Mr. Youssef, you have a big responsibility and a unique opportunity to turn things around this year. Civil society, academics and countries that represent 80% of the world’s population are backing you and your colleagues at the UN Tax Convention Committee to change the global tax rules, which are critical for how the global economy works. The money for everyone’s basic needs and the recovery of climate and nature is there. Now we need equality, transparency and accountability. Polluters must pay and the wealthy must be taxed fairly.

It’s time for bravery, powershift and new economic thinking to build a shared wellbeing. We need you Mr Ramy Youssef to stand up to those who’ve taken from us and for those who are suffering the consequences, by making sure that the world gets a new and fair international tax system. We’re counting on you to make a leap towards the future we’re all longing for.

Sharing this letter is within my power. I trust you will do all in yours too.

Fred Njehu, Pan African Political Strategist, Greenpeace Africa

Climate March during COP25 in Madrid. © Pedro Armestre / Greenpeace
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