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Debt Cancellation

GCAP's position on debt is clear – it should be cancelled non-selectively and unconditionally. The non-selectivity principle is a particularly important one. Indeed, the criteria for deciding that Uganda and not Kenya gets debt relief are entirely arbitrary and illogical. Given the paltry nature of the debt relief offered at the G8 – it leaves Africa with over $200bn of debt and annual repayment obligations far exceeding the scale of the debt relief – we cannot afford to take our eyes off the debt ball. The issue of debt is not so much what we demand but whom we address with what messages. GCAP demands

We call on donor Governments and International Institutions to:

  • Immediately and without externally imposed conditions cancel the odious, illegitimate and unpayable debt of poor and middle income countries through a fair, democratic and transparent process to free up resources for human development. Where debt cancellation measures are inadequate or failing to enable poor countries to reach the MDGs and provide basic social services, we support collective developing country strategies for the repudiation of all odious and illegitimate debts.
  • Reverse the flight of capital from poor countries and identify and repatriate stolen assets by taking action against tax havens, financial institutions, multinationals and others facilitating this resource leakage.
  • Establish a fair and just world order in which International Financial Institutions (especially the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organisation) operate within the broad principles enshrined under UN commitments and human rights obligations to better regulate the world economy.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Damien du Toit