February 24, 2004
The JCPA’s 2001 “Commitment to Africa” resolution included support for international debt relief as a means of supporting responsible economic development. The world’s poorest countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America continue to spend nearly $2 billion annually in debt service payments, crippling their ability to provide education, health care, and other essential services to their impoverished populations. At a June 2004 G8 meeting, the United States proposed canceling 100% of the debt of the world’s poorest nations. The July 2005 G8 meeting in the UK, dedicated to addressing global poverty, marks a critical opportunity to achieve this goal. We therefore take this opportunity to restate and clarify our position on International Debt Cancellation with the intent of joining efforts to achieve full debt cancellation for the poorest nations.
The Jewish Council of Public Affairs resolves to:
- Commend the United States government for its leadership in calling for 100% debt cancellation for poor countries;
- Call on the G8 to continue negotiations concerning debt cancellation until such an agreement is reached on 100% cancellation of debt owed by poor countries to lender nations, the IMF, World Bank and regional development banks;
- Support efforts to cancel 100% of the debts owed by countries with accountable and responsible governments, burdened with high levels of human need and environmental distress, which are unable to meet the basic needs of their people or achieve a level of sustainable development that ensures a decent quality of life;
- Oppose imposing conditions on countries in exchange for debt cancellation that have the effect of deepening poverty or degrading the environment, such as requiring user fees for health care or education, or the implementation of unsustainable farming practices.
- Support Debt cancellation that includes provisions to assure both transparency and accountability, so that resources reach the populations most in need, and that this program be used to promote human rights in the beneficiary countries.