Draft NY state law a ‘golden opportunity’ to ensure fair debt relief

An aerial view of the downtown Financial District of New York City (Image via UN)

(United Nations News) Proposed legislation in New York state, in the northeast United States, could provide effective and fair relief for developing countries crippled by debt, two experts appointed by the UN Human Rights Council said on Thursday. 

Olivier de Schutter, Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, and Attiya Waris, Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rightshave welcomed the proposed New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Prevention Act, which is currently under discussion. 

They urged lawmakers to adopt the draft bill, which compels private creditors to participate in international debt relief efforts on similar terms as public lenders. 

Fair for all 

New York State is home to New York City, the financial capital of the world. 

Some 60 per cent of developing country debt is held by private creditors, and New York law governs 52 per cent of this global debt, according to the experts. 

“If taxpayers contribute to public debt relief, private creditors should be obliged to participate on the same terms,” they said. “Debt relief must be effective and fair for all, and its costs must be shared by private creditors as well.” 

The proposed legislation means distressed low and middle-income countries would be able to protect the economic, social and cultural rights of their citizens instead of paying “unsustainable” debt loads. 

Read more at: United Natons News

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