|Putting Life Before Debt (CI - CIDSE, 1998, 38 p.)|
Putting Life Before Debt is published by CIDSE (International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity) and CI (Caritas Internationalis). The document is a result of the two groups' research and advocacy on debt and development issues. It is presented as a Catholic contribution to a reflection on values, opinion formation, policy making and action in light of both networks' continuing concern about the human and social burden of debt on the poor.
Putting Life Before Debt calls for the cancellation of the unpayable debt of the most impoverished countries by the year 2000. It also recommends improving the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, linking debt cancellation with investment in human development, ensuring that debt relief decisions are made in a transparent manner, and establishing a fair process for negotiation between debtors and creditors.
The recommendations, which provide a framework for a just and lasting solution to the debt problem, are also a powerful reminder of the need to recognize the suffering imposed by the debt and to respond appropriately. As Pope John Paul II has stated, Thus, in the spirit of the Book of Leviticus (25:8-12), Christians will have to raise their voice on behalf of all the poor of the world, proposing the Jubilee as an appropriate time to give thought ... to reducing substantially, if not cancelling outright, the international debt which seriously threatens the future of many nations (Tertio Millennio Adveniente #51).
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