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No help from World Organization's

 
 
Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2005 09:27 am
The progressive faith community is on the threshold of a desperately needed victory for Africa's poorest nations. For the first time, the Group of Eight (G-8) wealthy nations has agreed, in principle, to require the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to cancel up to 100% of the debt of a number of impoverished countries. While this is a sign of hope, it will take the voices and actions of the faithful to move these global leaders from words to action.

Jubilee USA and Africa Action have written a letter to President George Bush and Treasury Secretary John Snow, asking them to work at the upcoming IMF, World Bank, and G-8 meetings to ensure 100% cancellation of all African debts to these institutions without imposing harmful economic conditions. This letter has already been signed by hundreds of religious leaders.

The voices of people of faith have a unique power in America today, as they have had throughout this country's history. A call for the religious values of equality, justice, and access to basic services for all is especially needed now, as Africa faces the AIDS epidemic and dire economic crisis.


And America Liberal's wonder why we Conservatives go against World Organizations. Could it be that they are greedy and heartless, looks like it from this story. If they care about human events, than why are they backing down on Africa?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,782 • Replies: 23
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FreeDuck
 
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Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2005 09:33 am
Is there some evidence that "America Liberals" are against cancelling the debt owed by African nations? I always thought, perhaps stereotypically, that it was the "blue hairs" that did all the protesting and picketing whenever the WB met.

Conservatives have not traditionally gone against the World Bank and the IMF. I am glad to hear that religious leaders are putting their support behind debt cancellation, but does this translate to an official "Conservative" position on the issue?
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2005 09:42 am
Re: No help from World Organization's
ConstitutionalGirl wrote:
Jubilee USA and Africa Action have written a letter to President George Bush and Treasury Secretary John Snow, asking them to work at the upcoming IMF, World Bank, and G-8 meetings to ensure 100% cancellation of all African debts to these institutions without imposing harmful economic conditions. This letter has already been signed by hundreds of religious leaders.

Well, thats great! But like FreeDuck says, traditionally its actually the liberals (or outside the US: the leftists, socialists and greens and the like) who are for debt reduction - and conservative governments who are against it, or who want to go less far with it.
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
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Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2005 09:49 am
When you proceed from one pre decided premise, all things can be spun and moulded to prove that it's correct .
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2005 09:58 am
Re: No help from World Organization's
ConstitutionalGirl wrote:
For the first time, the Group of Eight (G-8) wealthy nations has agreed, in principle, to require the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to cancel up to 100% of the debt of a number of impoverished countries.


I might be a bit late with my news updates, but isn't the G-( summit on Africa planned in July in Scotland?

Did they decide this before? (Which really would be great, because this was asked for earlier a couple of times!)
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
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Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2005 10:00 am
Have these nations been paying any of the debt to begin with? Because forgiveness of the debt will be useless to these nations if it doesn't put money into their pockets to help themselves.

Not being adversarial, I really am interested.
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ConstitutionalGirl
 
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Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2005 10:04 am
I don't know much about the Summit, weird though how it's goin to be in Scotland, where Chuck and Cammy are gettin it on. All I know is, I'm a Conservative that dislikes World Organization's.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2005 10:06 am
OK, here's something you Americans can do:

Quote:
Action Alert- JUBILEE Act (H.R. 1130)
Call, Write and Set up Meetings with Your Representative asking them to Co-sponsor the JUBILEE Act (H.R. 1130)

A Critical Moment on Debt!


At the G-8 summit last June, world leaders considered for the first time a proposal that would provide 100% multilateral debt cancellation for impoverished nations. Though they failed to take action at the June summit, G-8 leaders directed their finance ministers (including the US Treasury Secretary) to consider additional measures in the coming months. This is a critical moment in the campaign for debt cancellation. And the JUBILEE Act is a critical vehicle to help us to achieve our goal.

We need to get dozens of additional Congressional co-sponsors to join the 5 current co-sponsors! We need a strong bipartisan list of co-sponsors to build up the support for this bill and to help to educate Congressional staff and members about debt cancellation. The more co-sponsors we have, the more likely the bill will be able to move through committee this year! [..]

Please set up a meeting in your district and ask your Member of Congress to co-sponsor the JUBILEE Act. If not possible, call the office or send letters. To co-sponsor the bill the staff should call Kathleen Sengstock in Representative Maxine Waters' office at (202) 225-2201. If your Representative has already co-sponsored the bill, please call to thank them.

The JUBILEE Act (HR 1130) expresses a much broader vision for debt cancellation. The Act calls for debt cancellation for 50 impoverished nations -- not just the Heavily Indebted Poor countries -- and it insists that such cancellation comes without devastating economic conditions and is paid for from the IMF/World Bank's own resources. As the G-7 debate debt cancellation, let us build strong support for the JUBILEE Act and point to it as a real plan worth supporting!

This month, please call, write or meet your Member of Congress and ask him/her to co-sponsor the Act. To call your Representative, you may reach the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 or go to www.house.gov to find your member's Web site.


Read the full explanation of the Jubilee Act and how to help / contact your Congressman etc on this webpage

Oh, re: ConstitutionalGirl's point, also note this:

Quote:
Representatives Waters (D-CA), Leach (R-IA), Frank (D-MA), Bachus (R-AL), Lee (D-CA), and Maloney (D-NY) re-introduced the JUBILEE Act (H.R. 1130) on March 3.

Three Democrats and two Republicans, yeah. Democrats from New York and California. If that aint liberals ...
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ConstitutionalGirl
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2005 10:06 am
blueveinedthrobber wrote:
Have these nations been paying any of the debt to begin with? Because forgiveness of the debt will be useless to these nations if it doesn't put money into their pockets to help themselves.

Not being adversarial, I really am interested.
Well, I'm not really interested in you.
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2005 10:07 am
ConstitutionalGirl wrote:
I don't know much about the Summit, weird though how it's goin to be in Scotland, where Chuck and Cammy are gettin it on. All I know is, I'm a Conservative that dislikes World Organization's.


Right now the Conservatives, or more rightly the radical neo cons masquerading as conservatives are in their shining time of gloryand influence but even that will not change the fact that you guys still live in the world and you might as well get used to it until you're able to colonize other planets.

And I don't mean to classify you as a radical neo con. I don't know you.
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FreeDuck
 
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Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2005 10:09 am
Speaking of adversarial...

So, CG, was your original post from an article or is it a paraphrase from something you read? Just curious how it came up.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2005 10:10 am
ConstitutionalGirl wrote:
I don't know much about the Summit, weird though how it's goin to be in Scotland, where Chuck and Cammy are gettin it on. All I know is, I'm a Conservative that dislikes World Organization's.


Well, that's a kind of enough knowledge.
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2005 10:12 am
ConstitutionalGirl wrote:
blueveinedthrobber wrote:
Have these nations been paying any of the debt to begin with? Because forgiveness of the debt will be useless to these nations if it doesn't put money into their pockets to help themselves.

Not being adversarial, I really am interested.
Well, I'm not really interested in you.


I didn't realize I'd asked you out on a date Shocked

Can anyone here address my question? that's what I was actually interested in. Laughing
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FreeDuck
 
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Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2005 10:14 am
Off the top of my head and without any back up facts, I believe they have been paying the interest on the debt and it has had a chocking effect on their budgets for development and health.
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nimh
 
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Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2005 10:16 am
blueveinedthrobber wrote:
Have these nations been paying any of the debt to begin with? Because forgiveness of the debt will be useless to these nations if it doesn't put money into their pockets to help themselves.

Not being adversarial, I really am interested.


From what I understand that's part of the discussion. The Bush administration wants 100% cancellation of the debt for sub-Saharan Africa (that's already pretty good compared to how this discussion has dragged on under previous administrations - and yes, the influence of Church groups might well be to thank for that). Other countries however stress that they agree with debt cancellation but that it furthermore should be supplemented with other measures as well, such as doubling the aid flow. The Brits have been particularly active in championing the cause. Part of the remaining disputes was, two months ago still in any case, how to finance it all. This from The Guardian of February 7:

Quote:
Finance ministers from the G7 developed countries agreed an action plan at the weekend. Treasury sources said there was a consensus on the need for 100% debt write-offs, extra development assistance and better access for developing countries to western markets.

The next five months would be spent resolving arguments between Britain and its partners over the details.

The United States emerged at the weekend as the biggest critic of proposals outlined by the chancellor, Gordon Brown, for a new International Finance Facility to double aid flows and for debt relief to be part financed by a revaluation or sale of some of the huge gold reserves held by the International Monetary Fund.

"We are not convinced of the need for that [gold sales] at this time," US Treasury undersecretary John Taylor said. [..]

Mr Brown was in upbeat mood yesterday following the G7 meeting in London on Friday and Saturday. Despite pessimistic noises from the US, he said it was the first time the G7 had agreed on a 100% debt write-off, and that there was now a plan of action for the rest of Britain's G8 presidency during 2005.

Mr Taylor was also in conciliatory mood yesterday, stressing that all G7 countries were united in wanting to reduce poverty. The US had a different approach, he said, in pushing for immediate, 100% cancellation of the debts owed to the World Bank and African Development Bank by the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Other countries, including Britain, fear that that approach, which would not bring in new money, would affect the banks' ability to lend in future.

The US government was criticised by the South African finance minister, Trevor Manuel, who said that President Bush's foreign aid vehicle, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, had as yet failed to deliver a single dollar of cash to poor countries.

The chancellor yesterday wrote to the organisers of the Make Poverty History campaign and to church groups to report on the G7 meeting. He said the agreement on 100% multilateral debt relief would be followed up by more resources to tackle malaria, HIV/Aids and tuberculosis.

Mr Brown wrote: "I want to thank the churches and faith groups, and anti-debt and anti-poverty campaigners. What will be known as the '100% debt summit' owes its progress to the millions who have campaigned for justice, for the strength of their resolve, the vision of their leadership, their determination in pursuit of a great cause."
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ConstitutionalGirl
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2005 10:17 am
FreeDuck wrote:
Speaking of adversarial...

So, CG, was your original post from an article or is it a paraphrase from something you read? Just curious how it came up.
I got it from a News Letter Email from The Jubulee Action Alert.
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2005 10:19 am
Thank you FreeDuck and nimh for your informative responses.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2005 10:22 am
The oficial USA's opinion still seems to be as described in the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) - which despite its grandiloquently humanitarian-sounding title, the Act actually imposes harsh conditions on African countries seeking aid or investment capital - or even beneficial trade - from the USA.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2005 10:22 am
blueveinedthrobber wrote:
Have these nations been paying any of the debt to begin with? Because forgiveness of the debt will be useless to these nations if it doesn't put money into their pockets to help themselves.

OK, here's a more precise answer to your question:

Quote:
Rich countries have made progress in cutting debt to the world's poorest countries under the heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) initiative. But a lack of funds has limited its effectiveness. Total debt service relief for the 23 countries covered by HIPC in 2001 amount to a projected $34bn. But 15 of these countries were still spending more than 10% of government revenue on debt servicing. In more than half, repayments to creditors were larger than spending on primary education.

(source)
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2005 10:23 am
Great info here, thanks. Thanks for starting the discussion too, CG, if with info that's just a tad off (ahem)... that can be a better discussion-starter than purely factual posts, sometimes.
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