In September US Treasury Secretary, Paul O’Neill, told the Senate Banking Committee that he would favour establishment of an international bankruptcy law as an alternative to IMF bailouts.
The Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative is failing to deliver debt relief, reports the Financial Times (9/10/01).
The World Bank and the IMF are bound by obligations enshrined in international human rights covenants, and must incorporate human rights considerations in the formulation and review of their Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs).
Heated debate is brewing between the US government which proposes that the Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) should provide up to 50 per cent of its resources as grants and some European governments (supported by the Bank) who argue that to do so would deplete IDA’s resources.
In August, Argentinian teachers, doctors and public workers went on strike and unemployed workers and students blocked roads to protest against rising unemployment and cuts in pensions and salaries.
At a forum in Lagos Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo accused the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and creditor nations of being unfair to developing countries trying to repay crippling external debts, reports Reuters (17/5/01).
Protesters carrying placards proclaiming “Africa Needs Liberation Not Charity” and “the Debt is a Fraud” gathered outside World Bank offices in London on 26 May to mark African Liberation Day.
A new report from Drop the Debt argues that the World Bank and IMF can afford to cancel in full the debts of the poorest countries without putting at risk their finances.
The global economic slowdown and donor countries’ differing views on what to do about it, pushed issues related to the world’s poorest nations to the sidelines of public debate on this year’s spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank.
A week-long “listening tour” brought World Bank President James Wolfensohn and IMF Managing Director Horst K