ECLAC Head Calls for Tax Reform With a Vision of Sustainable Development

9 January 2012: Addressing the roundtable on "Opportunities and Challenges of Climate Change for the Economic and Social Development of Latin America," the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, has underscored that the region needs "tax reforms with a vision of sustainable development."

The roundtable took place on 9 January 2012, and was hosted by ECLAC at its headquarters in Santiago, Chile. Bárcena called on countries to take concrete steps at the June 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) to link sustainable development issues with production, technological innovation and tax reform.

Bárcena noted that, as a result of its cooperation project with Germany's Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), ECLAC has been able to help the region start exploring the issue, for example by co-hosting with BMZ a 10-11 November 2010 "political dialogue" between Latin America and Europe held in Berlin on environmentally sustainable tax and economic policy in the context of climate change.

The Head of BMZ, Federal Minister Dirk Neibel, agreed, telling the roundtable that Latin America needs reforms that create fair tax systems, reduce tax evasion, and provide much needed funding for the technological innovations that will be required for the region to address climate change and other sustainable development challenges.

At the end of the roundtable, Bárcena and Niebel signed a framework outlining a "strategic alliance" between the two institutions on development issues. In November 2011, ECLAC and BMZ signed an agreement for a joint programme on low-carbon development and social cohesion in Latin America and the Caribbean. [ECLAC Press Release] [IISD RS Story on the BMZ-ECLAC Programme] [IISD RS Guest Article by Alicia Bárcena on the Road to Rio+20]