How to reform a global economic system unfavorable to poor countries? UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres believes that the system largely benefits rich countries, to the benefit of more fragile countries.
Antonio Guterres, present at the summit of the least developed countries (LDCs) in Doha, asked developed countries for aid of some $ 500 billion a year for the poorest countries of the world, "stuck in vicious circles" that prevent the reform of their economies and the revival of their education and health systems.
"Economic development is difficult when countries are under-resourced, drowning in debt and still struggling with the historic injustice of an uneven response to Covid-19," he said, as the poorest countries have repeatedly denounced an unfair distribution of vaccines, concentrated in Europe and North America. "Fighting a climate catastrophe that you have not caused is a challenge when the cost of capital explodes" and the financial aid received is "a drop in the ocean", added the secretary general of the international organization.
Many poor countries excluded from "capital markets"
"Our global financial system was designed by rich countries, largely for their benefit," he said. "Deprived of liquidity, many of you are being pushed out of the capital markets by predatory interest rates." Leaders and representatives from 33 African countries, 12 Asia-Pacific countries and Haiti met in Doha five decades after the United Nations established the LDC category.
An action plan for these countries was adopted at the UN General Assembly last year. But no major financial pledges are planned at the summit, which has been postponed twice because of the coronavirus. Afghanistan and Burma are not present, as their governments are not recognized by UN members.