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.
In response to the sovereign debt crises in Europe and across the developing world, many commentators are calling for a comprehensive audit and crucial reforms to international finance. Only mass mobilisation driven by clear objectives can make this possible, argues Eric Toussaint.
The European debt crisis closely resembles the experience of many developing countries over the last thirty years, with private banks’ reckless lending practices being paid for by the public. Now is the opportunity to fix the system and bring about debt justice, says a report by Jubilee Debt Campaign.
The international development community has high hopes that the spread of information and communication innovations can lift millions of people out of poverty. But technology – no matter how well designed – is only a magnifier of human capacity, not a substitute, says Kentaro Toyama.
International aid spending needs reform, but to cut it in the name of austerity would be shortsighted. In these difficult economic circumstances, rich countries should increase development funding - for both moral and practical reasons, argues Jonathan Glennie.
Due to the global financial crisis, a broad range of countries are experiencing increased and critical levels of sovereign debt. The principles and procedures of domestic insolvency should be applied to sovereign states in order to reach fair and sustainable outcomes, says a report by Erlassjahr and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.
A close examination of the MDGs shows that they are inadequate measures of human progress. It is time to review what we mean by ‘development’ and how the international community can assist in its pursuit, says a report by International Alert.
Excessive sovereign debt in low-income countries, often incurred through irresponsible lending practices, is a major hindrance to human development. An international mechanism is needed to offer countries a way to negotiate balanced resolutions with their creditors, argues Nic Benton.