* UN proposes carbon, billionaires, currency taxes
* UN says more money needed for aid, global challenges
* UN has no authority or mechanism to enforce taxes
UNITED NATIONS, July 5 The United Nations on
Thursday urged countries to impose international taxes to raise
more than $400 billion a year, such as a carbon tax, a currency
transaction tax and a billionaires tax, to offset cutbacks in
aid by many countries amid global economic turmoil.
The U.N. World Economic and Social Survey found the needs of
developing countries were not being met, more money was needed
to fight challenges like climate change and new taxes would help
"donor countries overcome their record of broken promises."
The United Nations has no authority or mechanisms to enforce
an international tax and can only urge its 193 members to do so.
The world body plays a marginal role in economic issues, which
is the realm of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
"Donor countries have fallen well short of their aid
commitments and development assistance declined last year
because of budget cuts, increasing the shortfall to $167
billion," the survey's author, Rob Vos, said in a statement.
"We are suggesting various ways to tap resources through
international mechanisms, such as coordinated taxes on carbon
emissions, air traffic, and financial and currency
transactions," he said.
Some United Nations officials have made various global
economic proposals such as replacing the U.S. dollar as the
world's currency with IMF Special Drawing Rights, an idea that a
number of countries have been pushing.
One suggestion made in The World Economic and Social Survey
was that regular allocations of IMF Special Drawing Rights and
use of idle Special Drawing Rights could produce about $100
billion annually to buy long-term assets that would then be used
as development finance.
The survey also said a $25 per tonne tax on carbon emissions
in developed countries - collected by national authorities but
allocated for international causes - could raise an estimated
$250 billion a year.
Another $40 billion a year could come from a 0.005 percent
transaction tax on the four main currencies, the U.S. dollar,
euro, yen and the British pound. A tax of 1 percent on
billionaires could also be explored, the survey said.
"Realizing the potential of these mechanisms will require
international agreement and corresponding political will, both
to tap sources as well as to ensure allocation of revenues for
development," Vos said.