Guterres says rich countries should give $500 billion a year to help the most disadvantaged states “stuck in vicious circles” boost their economies.
United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has condemned rich countries and energy giants for throttling poor countries with “predatory” interest rates and crippling fuel prices.
In his opening day speech at the UNs Top Least Developed Countries (LDC). Speaking in Qatar on Saturday, Guterres said rich countries should give $500 billion annually to help others “trapped in vicious circles” that block their efforts to boost economies and improve health and education.
The 46 LOL summit is normally held every 10 years, but has been postponed twice since 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Afghanistan and Myanmar, two of the poorest countries, will not attend the meeting in Doha, Qatar’s capital, because their governments are not recognized by UN members.
Not a single leader from one of the world’s largest economies attended.
Opening the summit, Guterres immediately lashed out at the way poor countries are treated by the powerful.
“You (LDCs) represent one in eight people on Earth. I have great admiration for your remarkable efforts to graduate and graduate. But your countries are also caught in vicious circles that make development difficult,” he said.
“We are well aware of the inequalities created by our unfair global economic and financial system.
“Economic development is challenging when countries are resource-hungry, drowning in debt and still grappling with the historic injustice of an uneven COVID-19 response,” he said.
“Fighting a climate catastrophe you didn’t create is a challenge when the cost of capital is skyrocketing and the financial aid received is a drop in the ocean. Fossil fuel giants are making huge profits, while millions in your countries cannot put food on their table.”
Guterres said the poorest countries were left behind in the “digital revolution” and the war in Ukraine has only increased the prices they pay for food and fuel.
“Our global financial system was designed by rich countries, largely for their benefit,” he said. “Deprived of liquidity, many of you have been locked out of capital markets by predatory interest rates.”
With poorer states mired in a “perfect storm for perpetuating poverty and injustice,” Guterres said LDCs needed a “minimum” $500 billion a year to overcome their problems, build job-creating industries and repay debt. pay.
Richer countries have also promised, but failed, to produce hundreds of billions of dollars to help poorer states fight climate change. Guterres said the UN would “continue to push for the resources already promised”.
Malawi’s president, Lazarus Chakwera, the chair of the summit, also lashed out at the “broken promises” of the international community, saying aid was “not a favor or charity” but a “moral responsibility”.
Under proposals called the Doha Program of Action, a food stockpile system will be set up to help countries facing hunger crises due to drought and high prices. The plan also calls for an investment center to help LDCs attract foreign financing and lower interest rates to reduce the impact of their debt.
This year, Bhutan will become one of seven countries — along with Bangladesh, Laos, Nepal, Angola, Sao Tome and Principe, and the Solomon Islands — to “graduate” LDC status by 2026.