We were on our way out of a crisis. We were planning ways to build back better, greener, and more inclusively after the devastating social and economic impacts of the pandemic. Then we were hit again.
Russia’s illegal attack on Ukraine has triggered turmoil in the global financial markets. Food and energy prices were already at a record high. Now they are rising even more.
Inequality is increasing, both within and between countries.
Financial accountability, transparency and integrity are more important than ever. There is little point in trying to fill a bathtub with the drain open.
Large-scale corruption and tax evasion without legal prosecution are undermining trust and public finances.
As long as illicit financial flows continue, they will keep on eroding the whole fabric of society.
As long as corruption and deception are rewarded with wealth and prosperity, our efforts to achieve the goal of leaving no-one behind will founder.
As long as secrecy and misuse of power persist, markets will fail, and democracies will not thrive.
National efforts to achieve more equal and inclusive societies must be underpinned by international governance and common standards and rules.
The OECD/G20 inclusive framework agreement on the two-pillar solution is proof that the international community can respond to new challenges.
The importance of this cannot be overstated.
We have to build on existing mechanisms to create a more holistic and inclusive approach. We have to make sure the system works for everyone.
The report of the High-level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda provides interesting analysis and recommendations that we should include in our further discussions.
At the country level, Norway’s ongoing efforts include support for development cooperation on tax-related issues, which we have doubled as part of the Addis Tax Initiative. Through the World Bank and other international entities, as well as our own tax authority, we are working with partner countries to improve their capacity and ability to benefit from the international progress being made. Civil society and media are also important partners.
Norway remains committed to doing its part in the collective effort to plug the drain.