G20 agrees on debt relief
NEW DELHI: Despite having some differences over the wording of the Russia-Ukraine war in the summary after the first G20 meeting of the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) under India’s presidency, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday said that the G20 nations have agreed on language to deal with the debt vulnerabilities of developing countries.
“The G20 FMCBG arrived at a common position for ‘debt language’. Vulnerable nations are looking at G20 nations to relieve the debt stress,” Sitharaman said, adding that four countries —Ghana, Sri Lanka, Zambia and Ethiopia — would benefit from the discussions.
However, an outcome document also stated that strengthening multilateral coordination by official bilateral and private creditors is needed to address the deteriorating debt situation and facilitate coordinated debt treatment for debt-distressed countries.
The G20 chair’s summary and outcome papers were issued after the G20 FMCBG meetings which said that the ministers recognised the urgency to address with the issues concerning middle-income countries.
Sitharaman further said that one of the successes of the first FMCBG meeting of the G20 India Presidency was to “arrive at a common position on debt language”.
“It is important for us to emphasise that because the vulnerable countries are looking at the G20 countries to find some solutions to arrive at a position where their debt stress can be relieved and many of them have been waiting for a very long time,” the finance minister said.
“So after so much negotiation, if we could arrive at a common position on a language on dealing with debt relief, I think the G20 is now standing up to meet the challenges of debt stress which many countries are facing,” the finance minister said.