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Old 09-26-2004, 10:02 AM   #1
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Kerry's statement on debt

Sounds like he's on board!

The following is an excerpt, as delivered, from a speech delivered at Temple University in PA.

“The world's poorest country is suffering under crushing debt burdens need particular attention. As president I'm going to lead the international community to cancel the debt of the most vulnerable nations in return for them living up to goals of social and economic progress. My friends, we will win when we work with our allies to enable children in poor countries to be able to get a basic education.”

Kerry then released to the press a more comprehensive set of policy positions. The following is the section on debt:

Cancel the Debt of the World’s Poorest Countries. John Kerry supports wiping clean the debts of the world’s most heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) that are reforming their economies and investing in their human capital. Debt relief will give them a fresh start to invest in health, education, and infrastructure. And Kerry will direct his Secretary of the Treasury to initiate negotiations with the Paris Club of Official Creditors, the World Bank, the IMF, and others with the goal of modifying the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative to provide substantially greater debt reduction to a broader set of poor countries. Kerry understands that debt cancellation should not come at the expense of future foreign aid flows to poor countries.
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Old 09-26-2004, 10:25 AM   #2
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Sounds good!!
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Old 09-26-2004, 10:38 AM   #3
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smart man.
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Old 09-26-2004, 11:10 AM   #4
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Re: Kerry's statement on debt

Quote:
Originally posted by Sherry Darling
... in return for them living up to goals of social and economic progress.


Sounds good, but I'd love for him/someone to elaborate.

Quote:
investing in their human capital
human capital
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Old 09-26-2004, 11:35 AM   #5
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yeah, i´d like him to elaborate too. imo debt relief shouldnt be tied to any conditions - especially conditions that are put up by international institutions that are not democratically legitimated by the country´s people, aiming to control national laws.
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Old 09-26-2004, 03:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars
yeah, i´d like him to elaborate too. imo debt relief shouldnt be tied to any conditions - especially conditions that are put up by international institutions that are not democratically legitimated by the country´s people, aiming to control national laws.
I think what they mean by conditions are not unfair conditions for the US government's gain, but conditions to ensure debt relief and assistance is provided where the government will actually use this money for the people. People in countries with dictators in power deserve help also, but it will have to be through an alternative organization, as providing dictators with more money will do nothing to help the people who need it, and will only fund militaries who oppress them. It's a lot trickier than it seems, but I think we can all agree debt ought to be cancelled in countries where the governments are legit and transparent. Kerry has been strong on AIDS/debt for some years, another reason I like him.
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Old 09-26-2004, 03:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars
yeah, i´d like him to elaborate too. imo debt relief shouldnt be tied to any conditions - especially conditions that are put up by international institutions that are not democratically legitimated by the country´s people, aiming to control national laws.
Precisely what I was thinking.
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Old 09-26-2004, 04:00 PM   #8
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Sure Vertigo, I agree that dictators shouldnt get more money to fund their military.

Anyway, debt relief isnt about providing additional money, but about relief - which does not mean writing a paycheck (which also should be done, I am the opinion that aid should be increased, etc., but thats leading too far off).

Thing is, if Kerry would say "Countries who get debt relief have to prove to use more money for poverty reduction (or achieving the Millenium Development Goals like defined by the U.N.)" I´m all for it. The politicians of developing countries have to be reminded of that.

But history shows that conditions were defined by the agenda of the IMF and the World Bank, impying that macroeconomic stability leads to poverty reduction (a one-sided view that has been harshly critisized by J. Stiglitz f.e.); in order to gain so-called macroeconomic stability those international organizations have put up conditions which did not help the HIPC at all, but made them easy to control from outside (corporations money running over development banks).

Unfortunately, history also shows that many dictators were actively supported by developed countries, because this gave the Western powers a counterpart that was easier to deal with.

This is also one of the reasons why political independence was relatively easy to gain in the 60s in large parts of Africa: for Western powers, it was easier to deal with independent countries weakened by hundreds of years of colonialism than to uphold a complicated colonial administration system which was rejected by large parts of the population. Anyway, the borderlines are still the old colonial ones, cutting through old tribal borderlines, causing tribalism to be one of the major problems in Africa.

Meanwhile, Liberia´s resources are still chiefly exploited by multinational companies like Firestone.
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Old 09-26-2004, 07:28 PM   #9
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I know what you're saying, hiphop, about conditions being used as a means of controlling a country and creating a country that is dependant on you, with no gain for the people. So, yes, Kerry should definately (and maybe has...check out his site) determine the specific actions the countries need to take in order to "qualify" for relief. I was under the impression that you meant there should be no conditions because we should give ALL African governments relief, but you are obviously much more knowledgable on the subject than I gave you credit for!

And it's incredibly sad for the people of these countries to whom we couldn't feasably supply aid, as we established many of the dictatorships in place during the Cold War (Angola, etc...). Also, you bring up a good point: how can we expect to declare our actions then as history and to start imposing fair trade laws, supplying real relief, etc when we continue to some degree many of the same policies used then. Just as in the Russia-Chechnya situation, even if there is some way for a solution or the beginnings of one to be reached, it never will be if the country with the opportunity to do so has no interest in that whatsoever. I hope Kerry elaborates, and proves to actually have a specific plan that would dramatically change the way we deal with Africa.

Because Africans are people too, contrary to popular belief.
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