The United Nations Financing for Development Conference was held in Addis Ababa this week.
Yes, Ethiopia may not be Heard in Europe’s usual patch, but our spies are everywhere.
Developing countries, 77 of them in fact, were pushing for the creation of a global tax body overseen by the UN.
They want it because they lose huge amounts of money to tax evasion.
In fact for every dollar they get in development aid, they lose more than two dollars to illicit financial flows. That money could be used for their development.
Speaking of the global tax body – here he is!
Isn’t he adorable? He even has his own Twitter account!
— Global Tax Body (@GlobalTaxBody) July 13, 2015
So who wouldn’t want one of these?
Well, most of the developed European nations as it happens. They prefer the OECD, even though developing countries see it as a “rich man’s club”.
One European diplomat was rumoured to have said the global tax body would happen over his dead body.
Other European countries were said to have threatened to cut aid, unless the G77 of developing countries backed down.
Sadly they eventually did. Although the push will continue, it was a setback for the global tax body idea.
So how did our European ambassadors celebrate?
With a few drinks at the swanky Hilton and Sheraton hotels in Addis.
Nothing wrong with that you say – it was a hard week’s work.
But did one delegation really have to order champagne to celebrate their victory over the poorer countries?
We’re looking at you, Belgium.
Photo courtesy of dpotera/Flickr. Published under a Creative Commons licence.Heard in Europe