“The Holy See considers it essential to rediscover our global financial system, founded on solid ethical principles of justice, truth, equity, and solidarity,” said Monsignor Ivan Jurkovic, the Holy See’s Permanent Observer at the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva. The Holy See put forward propositions.
Monsignor Jurkovic intervened in the 12th United Nations Conference on Commerce and Development (CNUCED), held in Geneva on November 18, 2019, regarding debt management.
The Holy See’s Proposals
The Holy See proposes “counter-measures,” said Monsignor Jurkovic.
Firstly, ”regulation” is necessary to guarantee “a serious control of the quality and trustworthiness of all the economic-financial products, in particular, “securities financial instruments.”
More precisely, the Permanent Observer explained: “the public powers should provide a certification for each product generated by the financial innovation.” That will necessitate “coordination” between “the different structures of local financial systems,” aiming to nourish “economic and financial biodiversity,” to reinforce the principle of cooperation and to encourage cooperative and public credit, “at the service of families, businesses <and> local economies.”
Secondly, transparency: for Monsignor Jurkovic the regulation of public powers should first make an effort to make available “maximum information” to “ensure financial transparency” and limit “excessive movements” of portfolio capital.
Moreover, the Permanent Observer stressed, the States are invited to undertake reforms, in order to “be protected by an appropriate management of the public system through judicious structural reforms and a judicious distribution of expenses and prudent investment.”
He recommended the restructuring of the debt of developing countries. “We earnestly encourage the international initiatives and efforts geared to facilitate the restructuring of the sovereign, just, effective, total debt and to make it the object of neutral arbitrage, continued Monsignor Jurkovic. Moreover, we are in need of effective international fiscal cooperation and of carrying out “reasonable and concordant reductions of the public debt,” he added.
Monsignor Jurkovic called for international responsibility. “A coordinated support and solidarity on the part of the international community are indispensable, not only for the developing states but also to assume the responsibility for just reforms of the international economic and financial system.”
A Predatory International Situation
“The civil society, the decision-makers of developing countries and other countries, as well as community leaders, intellectuals and all those that are touched by the activities of powerful economic and financial agents, must work together to bring about such reforms,” he added.
According to data from the Institute for International Finance, the outstanding global debt should exceed 255,000 billion dollars from now to the end of the year.”
“That reflects several decades of the creation of unhindered private credit to unregulated financial markets that, henceforth, also touches developing countries,” he explained. The latter “have seen their private debt rise from 79 percent of their GDP at the beginning of the global financial crisis, to 139 percent in 2017,” he explained.
In addition, “hyper-globalization — the combined and continued deregulation of the financial markets, of work and of goods in the whole world” — entails
“structural changes in the relations between the Nation States and large enterprises.” These effects are not limited to the financial markets, but create “a new type of business rentierism that is able to take advantage of the growing powers of the market and of lobbying to influence the frameworks of national and regional regulation” in key areas of development (intellectual property rights, investment policies, taxation, development financing) to “facilitate the extraction of predatory annuities by businesses.”