Levels of international aid have been criticised as seriously insufficient for over 50 years, debt cancellation programs have failed to reach most developing countries, and the Millennium Development Goal for halving poverty will not be met by 2015. Without a fundamental restructuring of global economic priorities, the needs of the majority world will continue to be overshadowed by commercial interests.
The future of the Arab spring and the Indignados and Occupy Wall Street movements is very difficult to foresee, but one thing is certain: the fight to break the infernal cycle of debt is a vital one. If it is not energetically pursued, there is little chance of
overcoming the next neo-liberal offensive, writes Éric Toussaint.
As EU negotiations begin in Athens to hammer out a bail-out
package, there is mounting evidence that speculative hedge funds are
playing a role in preventing a deal. A crack down on the activities of these ‘vulture funds' is needed as part of a much
wider programme of debt cancellation for Greece, writes Nick Dearden.
Last week’s High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan saw a greater inclusion of non-DAC countries, with China, Brazil and India joining the negotiating table. But with no binding commitments or specific actions agreed, what difference will the conference make for the world's poorest and most vulnerable people?
Twenty five years on from the adoption of the Declaration on the Right to Development, its potential remains unrealised. Rio+20 offers an excellent opportunity to pressure governments to meet their commitment and promote a rights-based approach to sustainable development, writes Paul Quintos.
Under the current system, sovereign debt is primarily the responsibility of the borrower, regardless of reckless lending practices and the impact of repayments on ordinary citizens. Introducing an international insolvency regime is an important step toward a fairer global financial system, says a report by Jubilee Australia.
Over the past decade, there has been a sharp drop in aid dependency among some of the world’s poorest countries. If more donor governments delivered good quality, untied aid, dependency could become a problem of the past, says a report by ActionAid.
Across Europe, one idea that has fuelled the imagination of activists is for a ‘debt audit’. By opening a countries’
finances to public examination and analysis, these can unveil how and
in whose interests an economy works and help pave the way for a truer form of democracy, says Nick Dearden.