Petitions delivered to the US Treasury Department Tuesday called on Group of Seven nations to take action this weekend to cancel debts of the poorest countries.
Activists from Jubilee USA Network and Africa Action delivered the petitions with thousands of signatures “calling for full multilateral debt cancellation,” a statement from the two groups said. The call came as US Treasury Secretary John Snow prepared to depart on Friday for the G7 Finance Ministers meeting in London.
“We are encouraged to hear that the US supports 100 per cent debt cancellation for a number of impoverished countries,” the statement said.
“In light of the illegitimate nature of these debts, and the human development needs of impoverished countries, we call on the United States Government to make every effort to ensure that the February 5 G7 finance ministers meeting in London results in 100 per cent debt cancellation for impoverished nations in Africa and elsewhere, without harmful conditions attached.”
“We are here today to demand the cancellation of Africa’s illegitimate debts,” executive director of Africa Action, Salih Booker, said.
“Just as the US led the call for cancellation of Iraq’s odious debts, it is past time for the US and other G7 governments to recognise the odious and illegitimate nature of African countries’ debts and to cancel these debts outright.”
Australian Associated Press, NEWS.com.au, February 2, 2005