Rights organisation, Amnesty International (AI), has called on the G20 countries to take unprecedented steps towards tackling the global inequalities exposed by the Covid-19 and climate crises.
The international organisation said that the G20 finance ministers should also commit to cancelling the debt of the world’s poorest countries, scaling up investments in health and social protection, and phasing out fossil fuel, to ensure a just and sustainable recovery from the pandemic.
Development Dairies understands that under international human rights law, wealthier countries, including the G20 states, have an obligation to assist countries that are struggling to mobilise adequate funding to respond to the pandemic.
The Acting Secretary-General of Al, Julie Verhaar, said, ‘Covid-19 has exposed the glaring inequalities that exist in our world. If we are to build resilience to future crises, we need to make long-term structural changes that will require courage and leadership from G20 countries. The flawed priorities of the rich and powerful [countries] have led us to a state of global emergency. G20 countries must break with the past by investing in people and human rights, leading the way to a just, sustainable, and inclusive recovery’.
The organisation also called on the G20 to cancel the debt owed by the world’s poorest countries for at least the next two years, freeing up resources for countries to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
AI added that the debt cancellation should be accompanied by robust transparency and accountability mechanisms in all donor and recipient countries, to ensure that money freed up is not lost to corruption or wasteful expenditure.
‘It should be unthinkable that any country would spend more money on debt repayments than healthcare in the face of a pandemic. The current G20 plan not only falls short of what is needed to respond right now, but it also piles up problems that will prevent countries from recovering in the future’, Verhaar added.
‘Debt repayments should never take precedence over efforts to ensure people’s human rights. The G20 must ensure that the world’s poorest countries are not locked into a vicious cycle of debt, ill-health, and economic paralysis’.
Photo source: UNMEER