Letter to Prime Minister Regarding the G8 Summit Meeting and the World Debt

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The Right Honourable Jean Chrétien
Prime Minister
Room 311-S, Centre Block
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

We write to you before the annual G-8 Summit in Birmingham to urge you and your fellow leaders of the richest nations of the world to take further and decisive action to forgive the external unpayable debts of the world's poorest nations. Such action would be a step toward establishing a just and equitable international economic system.

In his message for the Millennium, the Pope called for "reducing substantially, if not cancelling outright, the international debt which seriously threatens the future of many nations." We repeat this call to you, who are now in a unique position to give more generous help to some of the world's most impoverished people and at a minimal cost.

In light of the Jubilee Year 2000, we firmly believe in the moral obligation of creditor countries to contribute to the well-being of millions of poor people around the world. We acknowledge the contributions already made by creditor governments under the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative. Yet, it alone will not solve the problem of poverty. We urge you to develop new mechanisms of providing rapid and effective debt relief. In particular, additional assistance to those heavily indebted poor countries who do not now qualify under HIPC, especially those in post-conflict situations, must be forthcoming. At a minimum, we urge you to ensure that, by the year 2000, all highly indebted poor countries can get necessary debt relief.

We recognize that debtor governments have obligations, too. They have a duty to ensure that the benefits of debt relief are used to help those who are most in need and not squandered through mismanagement or corruption. To offer the poorest debt ridden countries faster and more generous help now will require political leadership as well as extra financial contributions. Such action is a vital step towards establishing a more just international financial system in the next millennium.


†François Thibodeau, CJM
Bishop of Edmundston
Chairman of the Human Rights Commission
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

For More Information Contact:
Deacon William Kokesch
Director, Communications Service


Last Updated on Wednesday, July 19 2006  
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