UNCTAD will host a high level roundtable during UNCTAD XIV in Nairobi on 20 July 2016 to discuss the risks, vulnerabilities and explore policy options available to countries in maintaining debt sustainability in the current global economic context.
UNCTAD has long warned of emerging risks and vulnerabilities that developing countries now face in the global economy. The economic climate is characterized by weakening growth rates of some major developing countries and continued lackluster growth in developed countries. Developing countries have acquired new vulnerabilities from to shocks stemming from increased access to international capital markets, public-private partnerships, sub-national debt, blended and climate finance, development finance from (re-)emerging sovereign donors and domestic debt which require countries to be equipped with new debt management capacities. In addition, new global financial turbulence stemming from falling commodity prices and increased exchange rate volatility have created a challenging economic environment for the maintenance of debt sustainability for many developing countries at a time that commitments to meet the internationally agreed goals have increased.
The debate surrounding debt sustainability of developing countries has taken on a new urgency from concern of the growing number countries that are considered to be at risk of or in debt distress. While external sovereign debt indicators improved in many poor countries during the 2000s, gradually rising external debt levels will be more difficult to service in a world of falling commodity prices, rising interest rates, currency depreciations and slowing global growth.
This UNCTAD XIV roundtable will provide an important opportunity to explore sources of countries' vulnerabilities and identify policy options and solutions to these challenges. As the focal point in the United Nations system on debt, UNCTAD strives to inform and shape the international debate on debt and development finance issues in inclusive and multi-stakeholder fora. UNCTAD XIV will provide an opportune forum to engage with member states in a multi-stakeholder dialog.
Background materials for this roundtable:
Report of the UN Secretary-General on External Debt and Development (A/70/278)
"Developmental strategies in a globalized world: Multilateral processes for managing sovereign external debt," UNCTAD Trade and Development Board, 62nd session, (TD/B/62/7)
UNCTAD Principles on Responsible Sovereign Lending and Borrowing (| عربي | English | Español | Français | Русский)
UNCTAD Principles Brochure
UNCTAD Roadmap and Guide to Sovereign Debt Workouts
"Price slump in commodities: Financial implications for commodity exporters," background note to UNCTAD@MC10 in Nairobi 15-17 December 2015.
For further information on UNCTAD XIV see the UNCTAD XIV programme and UNCTAD World Leaders Summit.