Developing countries can make great strides towards more progressive and effective taxation and spending through action within their own borders. But the damage caused by exemptions, loopholes, and tax havens requires action beyond national borders - it requires international action and cooperation.
Money doesn't just buy a nice car; it also buys better education or healthcare. Increasingly, it can buy impunity from justice, a pliant media, favorable laws, business advantage, and even elections. This, in turn, perpetuates the policies that allow a tiny elite to accumulate ever more wealth at the expense of the majority.
A tax system is important because of what it can pay for, but also for how it works. When we pay taxes, we expect something back from the state; it strengthens the relationship and accountability between us and our governments. It also pays for what private finance shouldn't: our needs for healthcare, education and social security.
Civil society space provides the oxygen for citizens to participate and meaningfully hold their governments and the private sector to account - and ensure that decisions are made in the interest of the majority and not the few. Without it, citizens have limited space to dissent and challenge the elites.
We need a world where people do not have to live in fear of the economic repercussions of getting sick or losing their home or job. Where every child gets to fulfil their potential. Where corporations pay their fair share of taxes and work for the good of the majority, not just their shareholders.
A good leader, in my view, should have a clear vision of the future they want and the society they need to build. They must also have a connection with the people who work for them and be able to mobilise their best energies to create teams where people can be most creative and happy.
Women, men, and children have fundamental rights to humanitarian assistance and protection. Yet far too many states block aid and attack their own citizens, and too many others - including some of the world's wealthiest countries - turn their back on those fleeing conflict and violence.
When men and women, boys and girls, are denied the right to education, the right to own land, the access to basic services like healthcare and clean water, a fair price for the crops they grow, a fair wage for the work they do, or the right to be part of making decisions that affect them, the result is poverty.