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[Video] UN Sustainability Week-Debt Crisis and Socioeconomic Equality

By: Ahmed Fathi


United Nations: The President of the United Nations General Assembly, Denis Francis, catalyzed a pivotal dialogue on debt sustainability and socioeconomic equality during the inaugural Sustainability Week at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. As world leaders convened, led by President Francis, the urgent need for debt relief for developing nations took center stage.


President Denis Francis underscored the gravity of the situation, stating, "The debt crisis is, in fact, a development crisis and one that permeates the global South." His remarks set the tone for a series of impassioned speeches addressing the challenges faced by developing countries in climbing the ladder of development.


Secretary-General António Guterres echoed President Francis's sentiments, emphasizing the plight of developing nations burdened by debt. "For developing countries, a world of debt means a world of pain. They are struggling to climb the development ladder with one hand tied behind their backs," he asserted.


During the thematic debate, leaders emphasized the imperative for reform within the global financial system to alleviate the debt burden on developing nations. President Denis Francis highlighted the alarming disparities, citing developing countries' staggering $11.4 trillion external debt.


"Ultimately, achieving debt sustainability and socioeconomic equity necessitates a well-coordinated, multilateral effort to reshape and reform the international financial architecture," President Francis emphasized.


Secretary-General António Guterres provided context, noting the compounding challenges exacerbated by external factors such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the global impact of the war in Ukraine. "The global economy is crawling to the end of its slowest five-year gross period since the early nineties," he stated, highlighting the dire circumstances faced by developing nations.


Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Achim Steiner, shed light on the role of credit agencies in perpetuating the cycle of debt for developing nations. "Credit agencies do not work only on mathematical or indeed financial statistics. The majority of their rating is based on subjective assessments, which translates into literally hundreds of billions of dollars of higher interest rates paid by developing countries," he remarked.


In conclusion, today's discussions at the United Nations underscored the critical need for immediate action to address the mounting debt crisis facing developing nations. As the world grapples with the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing global challenges, prioritizing sustainable development and socioeconomic equality for all is imperative.


In summary, today's UN discussions emphasized the urgent action required to tackle the escalating debt crisis in developing nations. Amidst post-Covid-19 challenges, prioritizing sustainable development and equality is paramount. Stay tuned for further coverage during Sustainability Week and the thematic debate on Tourism, Transportation, Energy and Infrastructure.


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