In September, the UK Government was one of only 11 countries to vote against a UN resolution calling for a fair and transparent workout mechanism for global debt (read more about this here). Jean Urquhart MSP has lodged a motion at the Scottish Parliament calling for the Scottish Government to support the UN resolution, and to push the UK Government to engage constructively with the process. The full text of the motion reads:
Motion S4M-11518: Jean Urquhart, Highlands and Islands, Independent, Date Lodged: 12/11/2014
Scotland, a Nation of Debt Justice
That the Parliament commends the work of Jubilee Scotland in its campaign, Scotland: a Nation of Debt Justice; welcomes the Scottish Government’s pledges in the independence campaign that an independent Scotland would “give careful consideration to the question of ‘unjust’ debts, work to ensure that Scottish export policies [did] not create new unjust debts” and that it would “support moves to establish Scotland as an international centre for debt arbitration”; considers that these goals can and should be pursued as part of the devolved constitutional settlement; regrets that the UK recently voted against resolution 68/304 of the UN General Assembly, which called for the establishment of a multilateral legal framework for sovereign debt restructuring; notes that this was agreed by 124 countries with only 11 opposed; expresses its support for that resolution, and calls on the UK Government to engage constructively in international discussions with a view to agreeing such a framework.
We need as many MSPs as possible to sign on to this motion (you can see which of your MSPs already have here) so please write to them and tell them why they should support debt justice!
You can write to all of your MSPs at one by entering your postcode on this website.
Some key points to include when you write to them:
- We are approaching a new debt crisis as a result of an unregulated lending boom. Loans to low income countries increased by 75% between 2008 and 2012 – pushing them further into debt
Vulture funds are allowed to hold entire countries hostage to receive obscene profits from loans they did not even make. Indebted countries have no way to challenge their unjust and unpayable debts.
- There is currently no process to enable nations to challenge the debt they owe – they cannot declare bankruptcy, they cannot seek arbitration, they cannot challenge their debts in court.
- The UN process offers an opportunity for countries to seek debt justice. Unlike the IMF (where creditors would prefer a debt workout mechanism to be placed), the UN is a democratic organisation where every country can vote regardless of their wealth.
- Scotland should speak out for the rights of poor nations. All other European Governments either abstained or voted against this motion – Scotland can lead the way in being a nation of debt justice.
Please let us know about any responses you get, or if you need any help with contacting your MSPs.