Monday, 8 October 2007

G20 meeting in November: Contribution to responsible lending?

(Eurodad) NGOs from around the world, including Eurodad, CIDSE and Jubilee US, have written to South Africa’s Finance Minister, Mr Trevor Manual, ahead of the G20 meeting in Cape Town (17-19 November) to demand representation at the meeting. One of the major items on the agenda is the discussion around a “Charter of responsible lending” that was mentioned during the last G8 meeting, held in Heiligendamm (Germany) on 6-8 June. The letter says:

“We recognise that the G20 is a more inclusive forum than the G8. We believe such an important discussion ought to take into account the interests and proposals of all stakeholders: sovereign lenders, sovereign borrowers, private lenders and civil society groups from both lending and borrowing nations. This is why, in the spirit of ownership of such an important global initiative, we request the following:

* Representation of civil society organisations at the G20 meeting.
* Facilitation of and support for a pre-CSO meeting.
* Discussion around the principles and proposals for a responsible financing framework as tabled by civil society organisations.

We believe the G20 discussion in November can act as a stepping stone towards the setting of commonly agreed - and fair – rules in international sovereign debt management.”

Following-on from this initiative, Eurodad will launch its own “Charter for Responsible Lending” later this month. The charter outlines the essential components of a responsible loan in order to improve the quality of lending and help to avoid future rounds of unsustainable and illegitimate debt, as well as fairness should repayment difficulties arise. Eurodad’s charter will be published on the Eurodad website once finalised. A series of dialogues and discussions centred on the proposals outlined in the charter is being organised over the coming months. Contact for further information.

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