The United Nations, Canada and Jamaica jointly launched a video conference on March 29 to focus on bolder actions to address debt vulnerabilities and improve financial liquidity for developing countries.
The meeting is a continuation of a series of high-level meetings held by the United Nations in 2020 related to the epidemic to help the global economy recover from the COVID-19 epidemic.
“We are on the brink of a debt crisis, with six countries already in default, a third of emerging market economies facing a high-risk fiscal crisis, and the least developed and low-income countries even worse,” Mr Guterres warned.
Guterres called for the allocation of new Special Drawing Rights and encouraged countries with strong cash reserves to reallocate unused drawing rights to those in need. He also called for the G-20 debt standstill initiative to be extended until 2022 and extended to all highly indebted, vulnerable middle-income countries affected by the epidemic.
On the same day, a United Nations policy briefing, ‘Preventing Debt Ccrises in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond: The Time to Act is Now,’ said that while significant steps have been taken so far, they are not enough to restore economic health. The risk of a debt crisis in many countries remains high, especially if the outbreak turns out to be longer and more severe than expected.
In his report, Guterres noted that the COVID-19 outbreak is causing a growing number of countries to become debt-ridden and severely constraining their ability to recover and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Jamaican Prime Minister Peter Holness and other dignitaries attended the meeting. International Monetary Fund Managing Director Angelica Georgieva, World Bank Managing Director Maria Malpass, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria and WTO Director-General Okonjo-Iwaya also attended the meeting. (CCTV reporter Xu Dezhi)