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Of Mazes and Layers: Can a UN Convention on Tax Change the Rules of the Game?

The Maze Last month, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly’s Economic and Financial Committee (Second Committee) tabled a draft resolution calling for the elaboration of a UN convention on international tax cooperation. Lauded by civil society as “a chance of legitimate, inclusive rule-setting” the initiative is yet to be remarked on, or acknowledged by, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Silence from the historical custodian of the international tax system tells us very little about whether civil society’s optimism is warranted or not. However, a closer look at the OECD’s actions in the last ten years provides a good yardstick against which to measure the extent of its willingness (or lack thereof) to cede, or even just share, the international tax spotlight. This post explores how the complexity of the reform efforts undertaken by the OECD in this area is likely to be used as an argument to prevent reform at the UN level, despite the significant problems that OECD led reforms pose for developing countries.

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Challenging the Olympic Charter at the Swiss OECD National Contact Point

In January 2020, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) issued guidelines to clarify the content of the controversial Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter (OC). Rule 50 prohibits any ‘kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas’. It was introduced to the OC during the 1970s, following one of…

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