Colombia calls for global financial consensus to avoid COVID debt crisis |

Colombia calls for global financial consensus to avoid COVID debt crisis |

“Many (countries) have not started to implement the necessary tax reforms to pay for emergency spending, and today they are assessed against pre-pandemic criteria by credit rating agencies,” Ivan Duque said during his speech at the 76th United Nations General Assembly.

Colombian Head of State called for consensus on a new classification of financial risks led by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and multilateral development banks.

“Otherwise, in the short term, given the demand for debt and a general increase in the cost of capital, a debt crisis could be precipitated, leading to larger setbacks and global recessionary effects,” he said. he declares.

The challenge of climate action

Colombia is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 51% by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, Duque said.

According to the president, the country has already adopted legislation to stimulate energy transition through unconventional renewable sources. The plan would put Colombia on a path to zero deforestation by 2030, creating a circular economy, where consumption does not exceed production, and protect parts of the Amazon Basin within the country’s borders.

However, Duque said the limited public funding available in the aftermath of the pandemic, will become an obstacle to achieving these goals.

“I propose to the world that, for a while and with the support of the IMF, we establish a rule in which all spending and investments related to climate action can be located outside the traditional line of deficit measurement. budgetary ”, he underlined. .

He said the rule he was proposing, along with other multilateral debt relief and cancellation measures, should be implemented as soon as possible and unconditionally.

“Addressing urgent investments cannot get caught up in the political debates arising from conflicts over resource allocation. The action is [needed] now, right now, and we can’t postpone it, ”said Duque.

IMF / Joaquin Sarmiento

People wear face masks in Medellin, Colombia to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The peace agreement

Addressing the peace agreement that ended decades of civil conflict, the president said Colombia was making progress in construction “Peace with legality», Its outstanding public policy since 2018.

“Even the effects of this cruel COVID-19 pandemic have not taken us away from our commitment to our country to see the end of narco-terrorist violence.”

He added that there had been a significant advance in the process of reincorporating ex-FARC combatants under his government, observed by the United Nations Verification Mission.

However, he noted that the challenges are still great, due to rebel FARC dissidents, as well as other criminal groups such as the ELN who continue to persistently attack “social and environmental human rights defenders.” .

Full statement in Spanish here.

Robert P. Matthews