Ecuador’s Minister for FA Adresses Human Rights Council

At the Human Rights Council in Geneva (March 2017) the Ecuadorean Foreign Affairs Minister Guillaume Long proposed a plan to “advance together in a global agenda for fiscal justice”. A plan first introduced at the 71st Un General Assembly last year.

He once again underscored how tax dodging by the elite profoundly affects the economy of the majority of the world population, which is why Ecuador is committed to fight against tax havens at the United Nations.

“Tax revenues are the most predictable, stable and important source of resources available to states to finance the protection of human rights,” said Long. “Corporations and wealthy people who avoid their obligations to pay taxes participate in denying the human rights of others, with every school that is not built, every medicine that is not bought for lack of funds, because the state doesn’t own the necessary financial resources.”

“We can’t allow the practices of tax evasion and the tools used for it to continue to build an unjust economic system designed to enrich a small minority at the expense of the great majorities. It’s time to end these practices.”

Ecuador is certainly leading by example, seeing as on Feb. 19, Ecuador became the first nation in the world to pass a plebiscite to ban public officials from having assets or capital in tax havens. Long described this as a historical example in the fight against corruption. As a result of this approval, all public servants and elected officials will have one year to bring offshore capital back to the country or they will be removed from office.

Right-wing banker and current runner-up in the presidential race Guillermo Lasso, who happens to be the director of ten offshore companies in Panama, as revealed by the Panama Papers last year, could potentially be banned from taking office if he manages to win but doesn’t comply with the new law. He was one of the key figures responsible for organising opposition protests against current president Rafael Correia’s proposal for progressive tax policies which would target the rich, who have hidden $30 billion in tax havens, according to Correia. Unsurprisingly Lasso is promising massive tax cuts if he becomes president.