President Hakainde Hichilema has called on international financial institutions and multinational development banks to scale up concessional financing to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) under improved terms of lending.
Hichilema said the exorbitant cost of capital remained an insidious problem afflicting the global South, beyond any other region in the world.
The Head of State said this when he addressed the General Debate of the 78th Session of the United Nations (UN) Assembly in New York on Tuesday in a speech read on his behalf by Foriegn Affairs and International Cooperation, Minister Stanly Kakubo.
“We implore the International community to grasp the urgency of this matter and ensure that every nation, regardless of its economic size has equitable access to affordable capital,” he said.
Hichilema pointed out that countries with smaller economies, required the capital more, which unfortunately, ends up in first world economies that least need it.
He said to compliment access to affordable finance, countries needed to enhance trade and investment as the engine for economic development and job creation at both regional and multinational levels
Hichilema reiterated his call for the reform of the international financial architecture to quicken the decision making process that would enable countries in special circumstances to restructure debt.
“We wish to welcome the UN Secretary General’s proposal for a Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) stimulus package, of at least US$500 billion per annum, to offset unfavourable financing conditions faced by countries in special situations,” he said.
Hichilema added that the elements of the package hold great potential to catalyze transformative actions in least developed countries for critical sectors such as renewable energy, health, quality education, social protection systems and resilient infrastructure.
He further called for the scalling up of partnerships and collaborations in combating illicit financial flows through unified efforts in strengthening the inclusiveness and effectiveness of the international tax cooperation.
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