Resolution on sovereign debt will “protect” human rights

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A view of the voting panel in the United Nations General Assembly. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

A UN resolution on the restructuring of sovereign debt has been welcomed by an independent human rights expert as "a positive step" towards clarifying existing international law on the issue.

Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and human rights, believes the resolution will protect human rights during times of crisis.

The UN General Assembly adopted the resolution on Thursday.

Dianne Penn reports.

A government will issue bonds in a foreign currency to raise money to fund national development. 

This is called sovereign debt. 

Mr Bohoslavsky said these funds should be used for implementing economic and social policies aimed at national growth and development. 

If a country defaults, it can push millions of people into poverty. 

He described the UN resolution as a "positive step" towards clarifying existing rules and international law principles on the issue. 

For example, it will provide legal guidance on how to prevent and deal with what he called "vulture credits." 

Mr Bohoslavasky recalled that in recent years, the UN has increasingly focused on issues related to debt sustainability and development. 

He stated that the principles under the General Assembly resolution are meant to protect human rights during times of crisis. 

Dianne Penn, United Nations. 

Duration: 53"

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