Resolution on Debt Relief in Poor Countries


8th Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum
8-14 January 2000

Resolution on Debt Relief in Poor Countries


(submitted by the Mexican Delegation)

The 8th Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum,

Recommends devoting the 2001 Annual Meeting to the feasibility of bilateral agreements to deal with debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries. Recognising we, representatives of the citizens of several countries in the Pacific Basin area cannot help showing concern about the external debt afflicting many nations, some of them members of this Parliamentary Forum, and express our solidarity with them.

Acknowledging that solutions often should be created within a frame of considerations for the whole wellbeing of individual persons and the societies in which they live. This is precisely what is being jeopardized by the severe burden of a debt.

Resolves that this forum should, therefore, express its concern with the problem of foreign debt.

This proposal will only be feasible on the basis of dialogue and consensus-seeking, thus eliminating financial and macroeconomic instability in the Asia-Pacific countries by ensuring economically sound policies at national and international levels. This will enable us to strengthen our financial systems, which have been negatively affected by the painful process of structural adjustment, basically in the countries with external deficits, the aim of which is to stabilize and make structural changes to foreign debt servicing.

In keeping with these major headings, we propose a summit meeting to discuss our financial differences, based on the principle of acknowledging the different levels of development in the region and the obstacles in our path as a result of said phenomenon.

Aiming at the objective of restructuring the international financial system, this does not imply repudiating or unilaterally cancelling the current debt, mainly of the developing countries. Rather, the reform we are proposing should consider a substantial change in current criteria for extending credit and in operating rules, as well as the restructuring of payments and measures to relieve the burden of said payments in the most highly indebted countries.

Considering that one of the best ways to show global solidarity could be for governments and financial entities holding the rights on those debts to agree to cancel those of poor countries in its entirety, or at least to lessen them significantly, allowing for indebted nations to invest in those areas of greater social impact such as education, health, food programs, production and trade infrastructure. What we propose is not a handout but a way to impulse responsible commitments on the side of the indebted nations. Reforms should be implemented by the favoured countries to guarantee truthful democratic processes in the political, economic and social fields. In the long run, this investment in the common good of human kind will only bear fruits of progress for all, turning nil the possible financial losses of the creditor countries and fostering a more equative growth for all and every person.

Proposes the creation of an APPF ad hoc working group1 which should devote itself, first of all, to collecting the proposals put forward by parliamentarians and technicians in different national and international forums such as the one held on October 3, 1998 by the Intergovernmental Group of the 24 developing Countries or the efforts to create and impulse the works of the Consultative Body at the level of finance ministers and central bank governors in the APEC region and the Financial Stability Forum. This will allow us to take advantage of the experience accumulated to date so as to contribute to finding a feasible solution to the problem of the debt of the poorest countries, which are in a vulnerable position on account of highly volatile financial flows.

1 Alike the Technological Working Committee


Resolution on Debt Relief in Poor Countries

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