Jubilee USA Statement on G20 Finance Ministers Meeting and Communiqué

G20 finance ministers and central bank governors concluded their first meetings under the Indonesian Presidency on COVID response, recovery and preparing for future crises. The finance ministers released a communiqué on their two days of deliberations.

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network and a United Nations finance expert who monitored G20 meetings since 2010, releases the following statement on the G20 finance ministers meeting and communiqué:

"Much of the focus of the meetings was on inflation and supply chain shocks.

"While inflation and supply chain shocks are challenges for all countries, G20 countries are focusing on how these issues impact their own economies. For developing countries with debts pegged to the dollar it means their debts are higher. Supply chain shocks for poor countries mean more people are going hungry.

"The IMF estimates by 2024 pandemic losses to the world economy will reach $14 trillion.

"We are disappointed by the current status of getting COVID vaccines, tests and treatments to developing countries.

"It seems less and less likely that we will reach the goal of vaccinating 70% of the world's population this year.

"The finance ministers stated support of distribution of vaccines and therapeutics. We need urgent action to fund the distribution. The $75 billion that is needed for the pandemic preparedness fund should be quickly funded by wealthy countries.

"The discussion on debt was one of the most difficult conversations at these G20 meetings.

"The World Bank and IMF are warning of a wave of defaults and we've failed to implement the G20 debt restructuring commitments for vulnerable countries.

"Many developing countries faced crisis and a lack of resources before the pandemic hit. Now they struggle with low revenues and rising debts. 

"The commitment of the finance ministers to ensure that the G20's debt restructuring process is orderly, timely and coordinated is important as we need to act quickly to prevent greater debt crises in developing countries.

"Unfortunately, it seems the G20 is still lacking consensus to move forward their debt reduction process in a robust and quick way.

"The G20 finance ministers are trying to rapidly implement rules to curb tax evasion and avoidance.

"The challenge with the tax agreements at this point is they do little to raise revenues in developing countries. 

"The Indonesian meetings reviewed progress for wealthy countries to use their IMF emergency pandemic response funds to support developing countries.

"Wealthy countries need to do more to get IMF Special Drawing Rights to developing countries.

"There is good progress on a new vehicle to use Special Drawing Rights to fight the pandemic and the impacts of climate change.

"The Resilience and Sustainability Trust, which could use $50 billion in Special Drawing Rights from wealthy countries, can support developing countries to take action on climate and pandemic preparedness.

"We need options that allow wealthy countries to share Special Drawing Rights through development banks in order to get more support to developing countries.

"IMF loan surcharges continue to deprive countries of critical resources they need at this time and the G20 should find a solution.

"The G20 finance ministers continue to raise the alarm on climate change. The G20 has a big role to play in financing climate commitments and developing rules in the financial system to fight climate change." 

Read the full communiqué here.