erlassjahr.de and international colleagues staged action outside the Baden Baden casino in March, in order to demonstrate how rising debt levels suffocate poor countries’ economies. Still, the ministers’ communiqué makes only scant reference to global debt problems; one of these references, however, is a link to the “Operational Guidelines for Sustainable Financing“, which include some interesting ideas about the treatment of future debt crises. They point – among others – to the shared responsibility among debtor and creditors for unsustainable debt and suggest negotiations in good faith. Find more pics, clips and reports form Baden-Baden here.
2. Déjà Vue: The G20 push capital into Africa
During times of extremely low interest rates in Europe and North America, Africa is an interesting investment sphere. That is why the German G20 presidency has put emphasis on improving investment conditions in Africa. They call this the “Compact with Africa”. AFRODAD, EURODAD and erlassjahr.de have analysed the CwA which presently is still work in progress. We fear that aggressive loan pushing in order to secure profit margins for Western investors under the pretext of supporting infrastructure in Africa will plunge a broad range of African countries into a new debt crisis – if no proper debt resolution mechanism is in place (find our joint position paper here). On June 13th and 14th AFRODAD’s director Fanwell Bokosi and others will voice our concerns during the “Africa Partnership Forum”, organized by the German G20 presidency in Berlin.
3. New proposal for limited debt relief initiatives launched
During the Financing for Development Forum in New York last week, erlassjahr.de and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation have launched a proposal for a limited debt relief initiative, benefitting those countries which are most in need. Presently progress on debt relief is blocked by rich countries refusing to create a global fair and transparent mechanism. In a similar situation, progress was still possible some 20 years ago through the creation of the HIPC initiative, which benefitted less than forty low income countries, and left every other debt crisis country untouched. How such a focus on, f.i. severely indebted Caribbean nations or countries most affected by climate change, could bring about progress on debt relief design, is being demonstrated in the paper which can be downloaded from the FES website.
4. We need to talk: Debt20 meets G20
On the first day of the G20 heads of state and government summit activists, bishops, ministers and academics representing severely indebted countries (the “Debt20“) will discuss with representatives of the G20 presidency and international financial institutions. The dialogue will be held in English and German on July 7th at the GLS Bank in downtown Hamburg (Düsternstrasse 10). The event begins at 15:00, access is free. More info here.