G-7 sues for cancellation of debt ?

Charles Brown CharlesB at SPAMCNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us
Thu May 3 12:58:05 MDT 2001

SOUTHERN AFRICA: IRIN News Briefs, 30 April


ZAMBIA: Zambia's ruling party backs third term for Chiluba
ZIMBABWE: No arrests three months after 'The Daily News' bombing
SOUTH AFRICA: Mbeki's the right man, says Mandela
MOZAMBIQUE-MALAWI: G-7 sues for cancellation of HIPC bilateral debts
ANGOLA-SOUTH AFRICA: Diplomat announces plans to assist displaced
NAMIBIA: Namibians march in support of human rights
LESOTHO: Lesotho, US launch trade deal
NAMIBIA: Government says 'no' to child soldiers
COMOROS: Annan appeals to parties to adhere to agreement


MOZAMBIQUE-MALAWI: G-7 sues for cancellation of HIPC bilateral debts

Finance ministers of the seven largest economies have called on other
bilateral creditors to join them in offering a 100 percent cancellation of
all eligible debts owed to them by the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries
(HIPC), PANA reported on Sunday.

The ministers from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US
issued the call at a meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary
Fund (IMF) that began on 26 April in Washington. According to the report,
experts noted that while the position of the G-7 strengthened the call for
total cancellation of poor countries' debts, it covered only bilateral debts
and not those owed to the IMF and World Bank. The report quoted some African
ministers at the conference as saying they would rather have a 100 percent
cancellation of debts owed to the IMF and World Bank, preferring other
actions by bilateral donors. Malawi and Mozambique, which are defined as
HIPCs, could benefit from such moves.

But the IMF and World Bank, which initiated the debt relief programme for
HIPCs in 1996 and have contributed part of their resources to it, have
argued that they would go bankrupt if they offered 100 percent forgiveness
of the debts owed to them. On their part, the G-7 ministers were quoted as
saying they were ready for further discussions on moving beyond debt relief
as they prepare for the next G-7 meeting later in the year. "In this
context, we underscore the importance of focusing on steps to increase
opportunities for trade, foster more favourable environments for attracting
private investment and promote efficient and coordinated investment in the
social sector, as we work toward the International Development Goals," they
said in a statement.

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