Ways Forward

AuthorPoornimah Devi Sookun
Pages99-104
CHAPTER 9
Ways Forward
Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it
can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.
Nelson Mandela, former South African president,
speaking in support of the Make Poverty History campaign
In September 2000, building upon a decade of major United Nations conferences
and summits, world leaders came together at the UN headquarters in New York to
adopt the UN Millennium Declaration. World leaders committed their nations to a
new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty. They set out a series of time-
bound targets, with a deadline of 2015, that become known as the Millennium
Develop ment Goals. Whilst there has been considerable success in addressing the
problems of unsust ainable debt, vulture funds have so far been equally successful
in hindering poor countries’ progress towards the MDGs. The past decade has been
marked by significant changes in debt restructuring patterns, each apparently better
than the previous one (see Chapter 8, International Initiatives). But debt restructuring
has been less successful than expected.
To tackle the obstructive actions of vulture funds, it is important to note again that
debt problems are inextricably linked to the political, economic and social factors
prevailing in both creditor and debtor countries. Legislative effor ts by the Belgian,
UK and other governments demonstrate the need for strong political will to tackle
the problem of unsustainable debt and its consequences.
This chapter highlights further solutions which call for new, far-reaching reforms to
deal with the problem of unsustainable debt and lawsuits, with a view to controlling
vulture fund activities, albeit indirectly.
The proposed solutions discussed here are:
• An international framework to restructure sovereign debt
• An international arbitration cour t
• A regulatory framework for public financial management
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