Civil Society FfD Group calls for systemic solutions to address the debt crisis. We call on governments to establish a Debt Workout Mechanism at the UN i.e a transparent, binding and multilateral framework for debt crisis prevention and resolution that addresses:

  • Supporting and providing immediate debt cancellation to all countries in need by all creditors (bilateral, multilateral and private)
  • Common and Binding Principles on Responsible Borrowing and Lending
  • Using human rights and development impact assessments in debt sustainability analyses
  • Assessing systemic risks posed by unregulated or inadequately regulated financial sector instruments and actors, including credit rating agencies

A fair and timely resolution will never result from lender dominated forums, that excludes the voices of people and governments of the Global South. United Nations, which is not a creditor itself, is the only forum that provides an inclusive and democratic space to provide a lasting multilateral solution to the debt crisis.

For more details on this civil society proposal, visit: https://csoforffd.org/2021/03/19/civil-society-meeting-on-international-debt-architecture/

The below database tracks recent statements by governments calling for ambitious solutions supporting debt cancellation and/or debt architecture reforms at the UN.

Group/Member StateYearLinkExcerpt
LDC Group2019link to the UN Webtv video. Malawi and Jamaica’s statements are from 1:31:36 – 1:46:23Malawi on behalf of LDC Group at UN General Assembly’s Second Committee in 2019
: “There is no international framework for restructuring of sovereign debt and this forum should seriously think about that”
CARICOM2019link to the UN Webtv video. Malawi and Jamaica’s statements are from 1:31:36 – 1:46:23Jamaica on behalf of CARICOM at UN General Assembly’s Second Committee in 2019
: “I was here in 2015 when we last tried to get a statutory debt restructuring mechanism. We failed, but maybe it is time for us to revisit it”
AOSIS2020Link to statement

Pdf file
These actions should include the design of new and the enhancement of existing financial instruments to provide debt relief including through debt cancellation, debt suspensions, debt rescheduling and restructuring, as well as other support measures.”
Saint Lucia2019Link to statement

Pdf file
Statement by Allen Chastanet, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia: 

Reducing external debt to a sustainable level in the medium term through a multilateral debt workout mechanism. More systematic, transparent and coordinated steps towards restructuring external debt obligations are critical. 
South Africa2020Link to statement

Pdf file
Statement by President Ramaphosa, May 2020

Developing country debt is a foremost concern. South Africa supports the call of the African Union for a debt standstill for two years. We endorse the call of Secretary-General Guterres for the development of a comprehensive debt framework. This should start with an across-the-board debt standstill for countries unable to service their debts, followed by targeted debt relief and a comprehensive approach to structural issues in the international debt architecture to prevent defaults.
South Africa2020Link to statement

Pdf file

Statement by President of South Africa and Chairperson of the African Union, Cyril Ramaphosa, Sep 2020

“Our view is that the Debt Service Suspension Initiative in its current form does not go far enough. South Africa supports extending the initiative and, in certain instances, considering the cancellation of debt.”
Nigeria2020Link to statement

Pdf file

Statement by President Buhari, 2020

Debts must be forgiven and cancelled. Free additional resources are needed urgently through an international consensus to enable poor countries work to reverse the devastation of COVID-19 to the human race
LLDC2020Link to statement

Pdf file

Statement by Prime Minister of Nepal Rt. Hon. Mr. K P Sharma Oli on behalf of the Group of the Landlocked Developing Countries, 2020

“concrete support measures should be put in place to address debt vulnerabilities including through debt cancellation for highly indebted countries, debt relief by international creditors, exchange or reprofile debt to reduce debt service, writing-off debt, debt swaps for highly indebted countries, debt buy-backs and support market access.”
Gambia2020Link to statement

Pdf file

Statement by Mambury Njie, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs , 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the challenge of debt sustainability. We support the recommendation of the discussion groups and reiterate the strong call by the African Union for some form of debt relief or debt cancellation. Unless we work collaboratively, the debt problem will continue to squeeze fiscal resources and impact life-saving interventions and sustainable investments in our economies to attain the SDGs. 
Cuba2020Link to statement

Pdf file
Statement by the Prime Minister of Cuba, Manuel Marrero Cruz , 2020

We support the initiatives for debt relief, although they are insufficient; the unpayable external debt borne by the countries of the South must be eliminated, which, worsened by the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic, threatens the sustainable development of peoples. 
President of Trade and Development Board (Argentina)2021Link to statement

Pdf file

8. Perhaps one of the most urgent transformations needed is finding a durable
solution to debt issues, with exacerbating debt vulnerabilities in developing
countries being a central issue in the post-pandemic world. The current crisis
provides an opportunity to reform the international debt architecture and the
international financial system. A single global sovereign debt authority,
independent of multilateral, bilateral or private creditor or debtor interests, is needed to address the manifold flaws in the current handling of sovereign debt
restructuring. 
10. Furthermore, debt suspensions should be extended on a need-basis
independently of income level, including private and multilateral creditors and debt
cancellations will need to be considered as well. A publicly controlled credit rating
agency also needs to be considered. We should shift from a position where private
Credit Rating Agencies can hold a position of “arbiters” by setting ratings, when
they are also players in the same market.
LDC Group2021Link to statement

Pdf file
“Full debt cancellation of all bilateral, multilateral, and commercial debts owed by LDCs and a debt standstill with immediate effect and reallocation of Special Drawing Rights towards the LDCs”
Botswana2021Link to statement

Pdf file
We call upon all Creditors to work with individual Governments with less fiscal space, including both low and middle income countries, to provide grants and improve the debt architecture through suspending loan re-payments and where possible, writing them off.
AOSIS2021Link to statement

Pdf file
The Paris Club and IFI’s, donor governments, as well as other creditors, should consider a
waiver of this year’s debt repayment for SIDS as a short-term measure, and the
implementation of debt forgiveness as part of a long-term solution. Further actions should include the design of new and enhanced financial instruments to provide debt relief including: debt cancellation, debt suspension, debt rescheduling and debt restructuring, debt swaps, as well as other support measures.
Lesotho2021Link to statement

Pdf file
Lesotho would therefore like to encourage all international creditors; both commercial and private, to take bolder action to suspend debt repayments, apply debt cancellation and moratoria and provide additional resources for supporting economic growth
Kenya2021Link to statement

Pdf file
We continue to encourage creditor nations and multi-lateral institutions to consider debt servicing moratorium, debt swaps and debt cancellation for vulnerable economies.
Jamaica2021Link to statement

Pdf file
we also support calls for the establishment of a sovereign debt restructuring mechanism, one that will deal effectively with the long- standing problem of holdout creditors.
Madagascar2021Link to statement

Pdf file
Cela étant et pour faciliter le processus de relance économique post-covid-19, nous invitons les bailleurs et partenaires financiers à accorder l’effacement total ou partiel de la dette au lieu d’un moratoire.(Google translate: However, to facilitate the process of post-covid-19 economic recovery, we invite donors and financial partners to grant full or partial debt relief instead of a moratorium.)
Bolivia2021Link to statement

Pdf file
Para superar esta grave situación Bolivia propone:
– Un acuerdo global de alivio a la deuda en favor de países en desarrollo (google translate: A comprehensive debt relief agreement for developing countries.)
– La condonación o refinanciamiento de la deuda externa a nivel global (google translate: The cancellation or refinancing of the external debt at the global level)
Nicaragua2021Link to statement

Pdf file
La segunda medida es la condonación de la deuda de los países en desarrollo, al menos en el período 2020 – 2024. Es mejor para todos que se condone la deuda durante estos cuatro años como parte de la solución, evitando una prolongada cadena de impagos de la deuda soberana como parte del problema.(Google translate: The second measure is the cancellation of the debt of the developing countries, at least in the period 2020 – 2024. It is better for everyone that the debt is forgiven during these four years as part of the solution, avoiding a prolonged chain of defaults of sovereign debt as part of the problem.)

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