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Poor Country Debt: Vice Minister Sereni, reducing it is a challenge Italy cannot avoid

“Reducing the debt of the poorest Countries is a challenge Italy cannot avoid, especially now that, with the Covid-19 crisis, it is becoming more and more difficult to pursue the sustainable development goals set by the UN, especially in Africa”. This was said by Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Marina Sereni, speaking at the “Debt conversion aimed at sustainable investments” webinar, promoted by the Non-Governmental LINK 2007 Organisation, in collaboration with the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

“In 2021,” explained V.M. Sereni, “the Italian Presidency of the G20 put the sustainable development agenda – People, Planet, and Prosperity – at the core of its G20 priorities, with the aim of avoiding a further increase in the human, economic, and social costs of the pandemic. As a result we are working to guarantee global access to the vaccines, especially for the poorest Countries. The temporary suspension of repayment of debts, extended by the G20 Countries until 31 December 2021, is an important decision, but we are working on a more overall strategy that helps the Countries most at risk to deal with the crises arising from the pandemic. This strategy is based on three points: reallocation of the Special Withdrawing Rights to support the balance sheets of the most needy Countries; the possibility of restructuring the debt of Countries that intend signing up to the Common Framework approved by the G20; and encouraging Multi-lateral Development Banks to extend their financing capacity”.

“Low income Countries,” added the Vice Minister, “have few options for financing measures to bounce back from the pandemic. The G20 has the tools to induce the international community to avoid a prolonged crisis, which would cause instability not only in the markets. In addition, the Finance Ministers of the G20 are working on strategies for financing the sustainable development goals, thereby welcoming proposals that emerge from civil society organisations, as in the case of this meeting, that, “concluded Vice Minister Sereni, “share our commitment to build a more balanced world”.