High-Level Meeting with Heads of State and Government on International Debt Architecture and Liquidity

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29-Mar-2021 03:28:42
UN Secretary-General António Guterres, together with the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, and the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, convene a virtual Meeting of Heads of State and Government to discuss the international debt architecture and liquidity as part of the Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond Initiative (FfDI).

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Addressing the high-level meeting, Mr. Guterres called for urgent assistance for developing countries so they have the financial liquidity they need to respond to the pandemic as well as invest in recovery, or risk a “lost decade” in development terms.

“I am encouraged to see that our insistence on the necessity for a new allocation of Special Drawing Rights by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the reallocation of unused SDRs to support vulnerable countries, including middle income ones, is now winning widespread acceptance … let us make sure it happens – and is properly managed to the benefit of the developing world”, he said.

The Secretary-General urged a “three-phase” approach to debt, including a moratorium on debt payments, targeted debt relief, and reforms to the international debt architecture.

He also called for more responsible borrowing and lending, accepted by debtor and creditor countries, investors, market participants, credit rating agencies and international organizations, highlighting the need for a time-bound, open dialogue to build trust and transparency in a systematic, inclusive way.

“Together, with collective resolve, we can help all countries invest in response, recovery, and a more sustainable, resilient future.”

The Secretary-General’s policy brief, entitled “Liquidity and Debt Solutions to Invest in the SDGs”, was released to coincide with the high-level meeting. The policy brief takes stock of the global policy response since April last year, assesses remaining gaps and challenges for their implementation, as well as proposed updates to the recommendations, presented last year, in light of developments over the past 12 months. The brief highlights the need for debt relief to create space for investments in recovery and for achieving the SDGs.

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