Editors' Choice News Desk World

Sat 04 March 2023:

Guterres says wealthy nations should provide $500bn a year to help the most deprived states ‘trapped in vicious cycles’ boost their economies.

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has condemned rich countries and energy giants for throttling poor nations with “predatory” interest rates and crippling fuel prices.

Speaking on the first day of the UN’s Least Developed Countries (LDC) summit in Qatar on Saturday, Guterres indicated that wealthy nations contribute $500 billion annually to assist those who are “trapped in vicious cycles” that hamper their attempts to grow their economies and improve their access to healthcare and education.

The summit of the 46 LDC is normally held every 10 years but has twice been delayed since 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Afghanistan and Myanmar, two of the poorest countries, are not present at the meeting in Qatar’s capital Doha because their governments are not recognised by UN members.

No leader from any of the world’s major economies attended.

Guterres immediately criticized how rich nations treat less developed nations during the summit’s opening remarks.

“You [LDCs] represent one in eight people on Earth. I have enormous admiration for your remarkable efforts to achieve graduation, and sustain graduation. But your countries are also trapped in vicious cycles that make development difficult,” he said.

“We are perfectly aware of the inequities created by our unfair global economic and financial system.

“Economic development is challenging when countries are starved for resources, drowning in debt, and still struggling with the historic injustice of an unequal COVID-19 response,” he said.

“Combatting climate catastrophe that you did nothing to cause is challenging when the cost of capital is sky high and the financial help received is a drop in the bucket. Fossil fuel giants are raking in huge profits, while millions in your countries cannot put food on the table.”

According to Guterres, the “digital revolution” is leaving the world’s poorest countries behind, and the war in the Ukraine has merely raised the price of food and fuel for them.
“Our global financial system was designed by wealthy countries, largely to their benefit,” he said. “Deprived of liquidity, many of you are locked out of capital markets by predatory interest rates.”

With poorer states trapped in a “perfect storm for perpetuating poverty and injustice”, Guterres said LDCs required a “minimum” $500bn a year to help overcome their problems, build up job-creating industries and repay debts.

Richer countries have also promised, but failed, to produce hundreds of billions of dollars to help poorer states battle climate change. Guterres said the UN would “keep pushing for the resources already promised”.

Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera, the summit’s chairman, also hit out at the “broken promises” made by the international community, saying that aid was “not a favour or an act of charity” but a “moral responsibility”.

A food stockholding mechanism will be established as part of ideas known as the Doha Programme of Action to assist nations experiencing food emergencies due to drought and high prices. In order to help LDCs obtain international financing and cut interest rates to lessen the impact of their debts, the plan also asks for an investment center.

This year, Bhutan will become one of seven countries – along with Bangladesh, Laos, Nepal, Angola, Sao Tome and Principe and the Solomon Islands – to “graduate” out of LDC status by 2026.






Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *