G20 leaders confirm global tax reform

The G20 leaders confirmed this Saturday in Roma a historic global tax reform, although all eyes are on whether they will succeed in sending a strong signal on the fight against climate change on the eve of the COP26 on Glasgow.

The G20 approved “a historic agreement on new international tax rules, including a global minimum tax that could end the damaging race to the bottom in corporate tax,” the US Treasury Secretary said in a statement. Janet Yellen.

This reform, whose approval was taken for granted after 136 countries gave their approval in early October to the pact negotiated under the aegis of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), is so far the only announcement of the summit held in Rome.

The leaders of the top 20 economies took advantage of their first face-to-face summit from Osaka in 2019 for parallel meetings such as those held by the president of Argentina, Alberto Fernandez, in full renegotiation of the debt with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Fernández launched a diplomatic offensive with talks with leaders of Germany, France, Spain —Guest country— and the European Union (EU), before meeting in the afternoon with the Managing Director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, at the Argentine embassy in the Eternal City.

“Good meeting (…) to advance in negotiations that allow us to leave the socially and economically unsustainable place where the government that preceded me left” Argentina, the president tweeted without further details, whose country renegotiates a debt of 44,000 million Dollars.

“Stop playing and listen”

Although the fight against climate change is formally on Sunday’s agenda, this issue stars in the summit, especially when the pressure increases so that the leaders of the 20 nations responsible for 80% of the emissions of greenhouse gases, send out a strong signal.

“We ask the leaders of the G20 to stop playing with each other and finally listen to the people and act in favor of the climate as science has claimed for years,” he told AFP Simone Ficicchia, 19, activist from Fridays for Future.

This movement started by the Swedish activist Greta Thunberg organized, together with left-wing organizations, a demonstration in which some 5,000 people participated in the center of Rome, according to the police, under the watchful eye of the forces of order.

However, in “La Nube”, the ultramodern Congress Center built in a neighborhood devised by the dictator Benito Mussolini In the first half of the 20th century, great progress is not expected on the topics of the leaders’ meeting, which also include the fight against covid-19.

Some climate elements in the final declaration “are still being negotiated,” said a senior US official. During the gala dinner at the Quirinale Palace, the Italian president, Sergio Mattarella, he urged them not to look away.

“We must not leave those who will come after us a planet mired in conflict, whose resources have been wasted,” Mattarella told them, calling for a “decisive breakthrough.” “The eyes of billions of people … are on us,” he added.

The negotiations appear even more complicated, since some leaders participated by videoconference, such as the Mexican presidents, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, chino, Xi Jinping, and Russian, Vladimir Putinas well as the Japanese Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida.

“Morally unacceptable”

Before addressing the effects, both human and economic, of the pandemic, the leaders wanted to pay tribute to the medical and emergency personnel who were on the front lines in the fight against Covid-19, inviting them to the traditional family photo.

And, in his first speech, the Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, whose country holds the protémpore presidency of the G20, considered “morally unacceptable” the different level of vaccination between the more and less developed countries.

“We believe that it is up to the G20 to make additional efforts to produce vaccines, drugs and treatments in developing countries,” said the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, during the plenary, according to the speech published by his press service.

The G20 expressed support for the goal of World Health Organization (WHO) to achieve 40% of the population vaccinated against Covid-19 by 2021 and 70% by mid-2022, but NGOs expect concrete commitments from leaders to help poor countries.

Both Xi and Putin asked the G20 leaders for “mutual recognition” of the vaccines produced in their respective countries, according to their speeches broadcast on state television. “All the countries that need it cannot have access to anticovid vaccines,” said the Russian.

After a previous day on Friday marked by the diplomacy of Pope Francis, the parallel meetings continued this Saturday, including one dedicated to the reactivation of the nuclear agreement with Iran in which the leaders of France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States participated. .

In a joint statement, the leaders of these four Western countries expressed their “lively and growing concern” over Tehran’s failure to comply with the 2015 agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, which they urged to “change course.”


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