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Jubilee Statements

Monitoring the impacts of government and corporate behaviour in communities overseas.

Australian and British PMs respond to call for global change

Release Date: 11-Apr-2008

Recent talks between Kevin Rudd and British PM Gordon Brown have delivered promising signs that both leaders are committed to a new era of structural change for the global economy.

Jubilee Australia, along with civil society groups from around the world, campaign against the gross injustices in the global economy. We can’t ignore the structures and policies which continue to put the interests of people in wealthy countries before the world’s poor if we are to meaningfully combat the dilemmas of global poverty, inequality and environmental destruction.

The debt crisis that rocked the developing world from the late 1970s is perhaps the clearest example of the unequal power balance within the global economy. The ramifications of the debt crisis continue to stymie development and perpetuate human suffering today. The international Jubilee movement is continuing to fight against the fact that the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the major economies that powerfully influence these two bodies, have never adequately acknowledged nor owned up to the structural causes of this ongoing catastrophe. 

In a post meeting press statement, Rudd and Brown expressed their commitment to the reform international financial institutions so that these bodies begin to reflect the realities of a changing world economy and shifting geo-political power balance.

The Australian Government has an immediate opportunity to act on this commitment by taking part in important dialogue between civil society leaders and the World Bank in Washington DC. The Round Table debate to be held on April 14 follows collective advocacy efforts by the international debt movement for a more meaningful consultation process on issue of illegitimate debt.

Jubilee Australia has written to Australian representative to the World Bank, Dr Jim Hagan, requesting that he attend the important meeting where both Odious Debt and Development Finance will be on the table. Participation in the international discussion of these issues is not only integral to the government’s approach to development effectiveness, but an opportunity for Kevin Rudd’s new government to press on with the kind of moral leadership hinted at during the his recent overseas visits.