Prime Minister Bainimarama Continues Visit to the United Nations as Chair of the Group of 77 and China

New York
Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fiji’s Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, continued with meetings at the UN today in his role as Chair of the Group of 77 and China. This morning he attended the Special High Level Meeting of ECOSOC on External Debt Sustainability and Development. The meeting is addressing lessons learned from debt crises and ongoing work on sovereign debt restructuring and debt resolution mechanisms.

In his statement to the meeting, Prime Minister Banimarama noted that total external debt of developing countries reached US$4.5 trillion over the year 2010-2011. He said that the Group of 77 was seriously concerned by the substantial increase in the financial stability risks of many developed economies. He said the Group called for urgent and coherent solutions to reduce sovereign risk in developed economies to prevent contagion and to mitigate its impact on the international financial system.

Addressing the vulnerabilities of developing countries to exogenous financial shocks, the Prime Minister said, “The international community must realize that no path to growth can be construed or fostered with unsustainable debt overhang. As such, any debt restructuring exercise should have as its core element a determination of real repayment capacity”.

Prime Minister Banimarama said that the Group of 77 would like to reiterate its support for the setting up of an independent international system of debt arbitration, in which countries facing risks of debt distress can have recourse to a debt standstill. It is envisaged by the Group of 77 that such a system would facilitate debt work-outs with burden-sharing procedures.

The Prime Minister is continuing with a program of bilateral meetings today prior to his departure from New York tomorrow.

UN Photo: Prime Minister Bainimarama meeting  UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the ECOSOC High Level Meeting in New York, 22 April, 2013

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