yu58_Prisma by DukasUniversal Images Group via Getty Images_tax havens protest Prisma by Dukas/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Tax Havens Are Sabotaging the SDGs

Several international initiatives, programs, agreements, conventions, and treaties have been created in recent years to reduce illicit financial flows, and yet the flows continue to increase. Without more aggressive and concerted action, countries will lack the resources needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

BEIJING – On September 25, 2015, the world’s heads of state and government unanimously adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – a sweeping global blueprint for building a more equitable and sustainable world. But, more than five years later, progress toward the agenda’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals leaves much to be desired.

Among the biggest constraints for countries striving to achieve the SDGs is the lack of financial resources. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, many low- and middle-income countries were showing signs of debt distress. As they struggle to cope with simultaneous public-health and economic crises, mobilizing financial resources for sustainable development is an even more difficult proposition.

Of course, there are ways to raise funds. Countries can increase domestic savings, court foreign investment, and seek development assistance from rich countries, international organizations, and multilateral development banks. But doing so is never easy – especially in a world where illicit financial flows flourish.

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