UN Summit Reaches Debt, Tax and Trade Agreements

Member countries of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) renewed a mandate for the UN agency on economic issues. The agreement will guide UNCTAD's work for the next four years.

"These were very difficult negotiations" stated Jubilee USA’s executive director Eric LeCompte, who addressed the delegates and participated in high-level ministerial events and negotiations. "Perhaps the greatest achievement was a renewed partnership between developed and developing countries to address financial crisis and debt policies."

Negotiations culminated in two days of round the clock negotiations through the morning of July 22nd. Negotiators focused on what some called "controversial" policies around tax, debt and trade issues.

The Holy See or Vatican focused on these issues throughout the meetings. Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, discussed these economic issues and encouraged participants to "aim at a high level of ambition" to address them. Turkson argued that trade issues must be centered on human development. The top Vatican official addressed why tax issues were important and supported developing countries to "attain long-term debt sustainability."

"The global development community is concerned by a lack of proactive tax and trade policies in the agreement,"noted LeCompte. "We need to ensure that as a global community the most vulnerable are protected in economic policies."

Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations and 550 faith communities working with 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee USA builds an economy that serves, protects and promotes the participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee USA has won critical global financial reforms and more than $130 billion in debt relief to benefit the world's poorest people. www.jubileeusa.org


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