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Eurodad reacts to UN calls for a global mechanism for sovereign debt restructurings

Thursday 23 April 2020 Today, the UN Secretary General called for a sovereign debt restructuring mechanism to be established as part of the longer term response to the Covid-19 crisis and its economic impacts. The call is accompanied by a new report from UNCTAD - the main UN body dealing with trade, investment and development issues - calling for a global authority to oversee debt restructurings.  Mark Perera, Policy and Advocacy Manager at the European Network on Debt and Development ...
The International Monetary Fund (IMF)-World Bank virtual Spring Meetings took place as global economic turmoil deepened. The IMF projected the worst recession since the Great Depression – and warned that even this forecast might be too optimistic. While ...
The world is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis triggered by the outbreak of COVID-19. As the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs) deliver their virtual Spring Meetings, there are strong calls for an ambitious response. Both the World Bank and the ...

Debt relief must deliver on ambitions

The IMF and WB are calling on the G20 to support debt relief for impoverished countries in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak. But the institutions must break with the past to ensure debt relief fulfils its purpose. The COVID-19 pandemic is an exceptional crisis and potentially implies devastating legacy impacts for many impoverished countries. Global policy responses to deal with the economic fallout must therefore break with precedent and also ensure a reinforcement of longer-term development priorities. The call for a moratorium on official bilateral debt by the Bretton Woods Institutions is welcome, and could be a significant measure in securing fiscal breathing space for countries battling against the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak. But for some countries, such a standstill may not ...

The Bretton Woods Institutions, 75 years on: reform or risk irrelevance.

The Bretton Woods Institutions were built on the ruins of an old world-order, at the end of World War II, and the dawn of a new world order, marked by the birth of many new nation-states and the onset of the cold-war. Ostensibly, the Institutions were created to preserve the peace by ensuring macroeconomic stability, supporting development and discouraging the creation of hostile trade or currency blocs. Yet, right from their beginnings, they have been the source of critique and concern. There were concerns about asymmetries of power, particularly in favour of the US. Then came concerns about uneven-handed treatment of countries in very similar circumstances. On the one hand, post-war Europe could quickly recover thanks to the US stepping in and instituting the Marshall fund. On the other, ...
The 2019 World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Annual meetings last week marked the 75th anniversary of the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs). However, there was little cause for celebration. The meetings took place amid a bleak global ...

EU leadership needs to embed human rights into economic policy-making

Mark Perera

04 Apr 2019 10:20:46

In a valuable step forward to support human rights compliant economic policy-making, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) called on 21 March for governments and intergovernmental organisations to make use of new UN guidance when developing economic reforms. EU states on the HRC boldly exercised their votes to oppose these calls, in a move that stands in direct contrast to EU commitments from only two years ago to adopt a rights-based approach to development, and support countries in building resilience to prepare for and respond to economic shocks without compromising long-term development prospects. New UN guiding principles add to the debt management toolbox The HRC resolution on the effects of foreign debt on the enjoyment of human rights highlights new UN Guiding Principles on human rights ...

An economy that serves the people: new UN guidance to anchor policy-making to human rights

Mark Perera

28 Feb 2019 15:24:54

This week the UN Human Rights Council will discuss new Guiding Principles to ensure human rights are integral to economic policy-making.  EU states must endorse the new Principles and promote their use at national level.  Strong European support will show that lessons have been learned from the human costs of the financial crisis and see the EU standing behind its development policy commitments. A decade of austerity… A decade on from the onset of the global financial crisis, it is hard to ignore the mounting evidence that austerity economics have had a corrosive effect on the enjoyment of human rights across the world.  From Argentina to Greece, South Africa to the UK, the costs of severe fiscal consolidation have been disproportionately borne by society’s ...

Annual Meetings round-up: As uncertainty reigns in the global economy, there are strong calls for a rethink of Fund and Bank policies

Maria Romero, Mark Perera, Gino Brunswijck

16 Oct 2018 15:22:45

With the country still reeling from the devastation of the Sulawesi tsunami, Indonesia played host to the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group (WBG), in Bali last week. The sobriety of the moment was reflected in gloomy forecasts from the IMF, which issued stark warnings of debt and trade risks to global growth. Meanwhile, controversy surrounded the World Bank’s new Human Capital Index; the 2019 World Development Report; and the ‘private finance first’ approach at the core of the Bank’s Maximising Finance for Development. CSOs and academics raised their voices to shine a light on the risks that the policies of the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs) posed to human rights and sustainable development across the Global South. Eurodad presented new ...