Dáil Éireann - Volume 494 - 07 October, 1998
Written Answers. - Third World Debt.
Mr. G. Reynolds Mr. G. Reynolds
69. Mr. G. Reynolds asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs his Department's view on the policy proposed by Jubilee 2000 for the cancellation of all third world debt by the year 2000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18963/98]
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Andrews) David Andrews
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Andrews): Ireland views the debt burden on many developing countries as a major challenge for the entire international community. It is this concern which lay behind the comprehensive debt relief package recently announced by the Minister for Finance and myself, which commits funds of more than £31 million to ease the debt burden on the heavily indebted poor countries.
As regards debt cancellation, I appreciate and respect the views of Jubilee 2000, while also noting that few Governments, from developed or developing countries, have adopted the position of calling for total debt cancellation. As regards Ireland's position, we will strongly encourage the international community to take a generous and flexible approach to debt alleviation and we support in this context the call of the G8 countries for bilateral aid-related debt forgiveness.
In respect of general bilateral and multilateral debt, I wish to emphasise that the position taken to date by developing countries is to generally favour reducing the debt burden of the most heavily indebted poor countries to a sustainable level, which would allow them to foster a process of economic growth and development. Ireland, as stated in the principles announced by the Government, will continue to use every opportunity to press for deeper debt relief so as to ease the debt burden on developing countries.
Dáil Éireann 494 Written Answers. Third World Debt.