Sovereign Debt: A New Home for an Old Idea

Image Source: Jubilee Australia
With global debt once again in the spotlight given the near-default by Greece, Jubilee Australia Research Centre is continuing its longstanding work on debt and supports the establishment by the United Nations of a sovereign debt mechanism. This has been a longstanding call by Jubilee Australia going back to 2002, and prosecuted at length in its 2011 report Alternatives to Debtor’s Prison.

The United Nations General Assembly has called for an official UN investigation into establishment of a new independent sovereign debt process. A global sovereign debt mechanism regulated by the UN would stop predatory vulture funds from holding countries hostage over debt, provide a sovereign debt mechanism to work out crippling debt and lead to more equitable, responsible lending practices.

On September 10, 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution regarding principles to guide the sovereign debt restructuring process. This represents a historical breakthrough:  the vast majority of nations have spoken out for a change to the current creditor-led debt system that has repeatedly failed numerous countries. The principles would be based on sovereignty, good faith, transparency, impartiality, equitable treatment, sovereign immunity, legitimacy, sustainability and majority restructuring.

JARC will continue its work to establish a multilateral legal mechanism for sovereign debt restructuring.

Source: Jubilee Australia Research Centre, September 24th, 2015.

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