Bangladesh rights groups demand debt cancellation and more global participation for LDCs in Bretton Woods institutions

Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBDDHAKA, JUNE 4: Leaders of civil society right groups’ network EquityBD and VOICE on Tuesday demanded the cancellation of debt and creating democratic space for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) specially in international financial institutions like the World Bank. The demand was made at a press conference at the National Press Club to focus the lackings in the UN High Level Panel report on post 2015 agenda.
The leaders termed the draft report on post 2015 agenda “as lofty goal and empty bowl”.
The UN HLP report was released on May 30 this year in New York.
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, chief coordinator of Equitybd moderated the conference while Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director of Voice readout the position paper.
The leaders criticized the UN HLP report for over emphasizing on free market and private sector financing for development and said the free market notion is responsible for reproducing poverty and global inequality and widening the gap between rich and poor.
They said the report has not been able to strike a balance between private sector and public financing. They have also mentioned that generically private finance always looks for profit rather than growth with justice and equity.
The speakers placed four-point demands before the UN Secretary General to consider in the post 2015 development framework.
The demands include recognition by developed countries of their historical responsibility, cancellation of all debt of LDC’s, creating policy space for LDCs in international financial institutions (IFI) like the World Bank and the IMF.
The rights groups pleaded that the LDCs like Bangladesh should take lead in the intergovernmental process and raise voices well ahead for post 2015 development agenda.
Aminur Rasul Babul of Unnayan Dhara Trust, Farzana Akhter of VOICE and Mostafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD also spoke in the press conference.

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