United Nations

A/RES/51/164


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

26 February 1997

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



Fifty-first session
Agenda item 94 (a)


                  RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

              [on the report of the Second Committee (A/51/602)]


            51/164.     Enhancing international cooperation
                        towards a durable solution to the
                        external debt problem of developing
                        countries

      The General Assembly,

      Recalling its resolutions 48/165 of 21 December 1993 and 50/92 of
20 December 1995 and the relevant provisions of the report of the Ad
Hoc Committee of the Whole of the General Assembly for the Mid-term
Review of the Implementation of the United Nations New Agenda for the
Development of Africa in the 1990s, 1/ as well as the results, as
agreed, of all major United Nations conferences and summit meetings
held since the beginning of the 1990s,

      Reaffirming the urgent need for effective, equitable,
development-oriented and durable solutions to the external debt and
debt-servicing problems of developing countries and to help them exit
from the rescheduling process, 

      Noting the improvement in the debt situation of a number of
developing countries since the second half of the 1980s and the
contribution that the evolving debt strategy has made to this
improvement, noting with appreciation the debt-relief measures taken
by creditor countries both within the framework of the Paris Club and
through their cancellation and equivalent relief of bilateral official
debt and welcoming the even more favourable debt-relief measures taken
by the Paris Club on the basis of the Naples terms of December 1994,

      Stressing the need for a full and swift implementation of those
initiatives, which will further assist developing countries, in
particular the poorest and heavily indebted countries, especially in
Africa, in their efforts to improve their debt situation in view of
their continued very high level of total debt stock and servicing
burdens,

      Emphasizing the importance for debtor countries of continuing to
pursue and intensify their efforts with respect to economic reforms,
and stabilization and structural adjustment programmes, in order to
raise savings and investments, reduce inflation and improve economic
efficiency, taking into account the need to address the social aspects
of development, including the eradication of poverty, and their
individual characteristics, as well as the vulnerability of the poorer
strata of their populations,

      Noting with concern the continuing debt and debt-servicing
problems of indebted developing countries as constituting an element
adversely affecting their development efforts and economic growth, and
stressing the importance of alleviating the onerous debt and
debt-service burdens connected with various types of debt of many
developing countries, on the basis of an effective, equitable,
development-oriented and durable approach and, where appropriate,
addressing the full stock of debt of the poorest and most indebted
developing countries as a matter of priority,

      Noting that those developing countries that have continued, at
great cost to themselves, to meet their international debt and
debt-service obligations in a timely fashion have done so despite
serious external and domestic financial constraints,

      Expressing its concern that debt-relief measures taken so far
have not yet fully provided effective, equitable, development-oriented
and durable solutions to the outstanding debt and debt-servicing
problems of a large number of developing countries, in particular the
poorest and heavily indebted countries,

      Noting the situation in some creditor countries with economies in
transition in addressing the external debt and debt-servicing problems
of developing countries,

      Stressing the need for continuing global economic growth and the
necessity for a continuing supportive international economic
environment with regard to, inter alia, terms of trade, commodity
prices, improved market access, trade practices, access to technology,
exchange rates and international interest rates, and noting the
continued need for resources for sustained economic growth and
sustainable development of the developing countries,

      1.    Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General on the
developing country debt situation as at mid-1996; 2/

      2.    Recognizes that effective, equitable, development-oriented
and durable solutions to the external debt and debt-servicing problems
of developing countries can contribute substantially to the
strengthening of the global economy and to the efforts of developing
countries to achieve sustained economic growth and sustainable
development; 

      3.    Notes that further progress, including swift implementation
of innovative approaches and concrete measures, is essential for
contributing to effective, equitable, development-oriented and durable
solutions to the external debt and debt-servicing problems of
developing countries, particularly the poorest and heavily indebted
countries;

      4.    Stresses the importance for developing countries of
continuing their efforts to promote a favourable environment for
attracting foreign investment, thereby promoting economic growth and
sustainable development so as to favour their exit from debt and debt-
servicing problems, and also stresses the need for the international
community to promote a conducive external economic environment
through, inter alia, improved market access, stabilization of exchange
rates, effective stewardship of international interest rates,
increased resource flows, access to international financial markets,
flow of financial resources and improved access to technology for the
developing countries;

      5.    Also stresses that the evolving debt strategy must be
accompanied by a favourable and supportive international economic
environment, including the full implementation of the results of the
Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations, and the Marrakesh
ministerial decisions in favour of the least developed countries and
the net food-importing developing countries; 3/

      6.    Welcomes the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Debt Initiative
endorsed by the Interim Committee of the International Monetary Fund
and the Development Committee of the World Bank and the International
Monetary Fund, designed to enable eligible heavily indebted poor
countries to achieve a sustainable debt situation through coordinated
action by all creditors on the basis of adjustment efforts by the
debtor countries;

      7.    Recognizes that the implementation of the Initiative
requires additional financial resources from both bilateral and
multilateral creditors without affecting the support required for
development activities of developing countries, welcomes the
commitment made to provide additional resources for the Initiative,
and invites bilateral donors to contribute to the Trust Fund for the
implementation of the Initiative;

      8.    Stresses the urgent need for the developed countries to give
the Initiative the support it both needs and deserves and to implement
it flexibly to ensure that the performance already achieved is taken
into account in determining the duration of adjustment required to
reach, with the assistance of all creditors, an exit from debt
rescheduling;

      9.    Also stresses the importance of implementing the
Initiative's eligibility criteria flexibly, in a transparent manner,
and with the full involvement of the debtor country, and further
stresses the importance of continuously evaluating and actively
monitoring the implications of the existing terms of the eligibility
criteria in the implementation of the Initiative, so as to ensure
sufficient coverage of heavily indebted poor countries;

      10.   Underlines the importance of the transparency and
involvement of debtor countries in any review and analysis that will
be conducted during the adjustment period; 

      11.   Welcomes the decision taken by the Paris Club to go beyond
the Naples terms to provide debt reduction, including some debt stock
forgiveness for the poorest and most heavily indebted countries,
stresses the need for the swift implementation of that decision, and
urges all other bilateral creditors to make comparable contributions
in the context of coordinated efforts by all countries; 

      12.   Recognizes the efforts of indebted developing countries in
regard to fulfilling their commitments on debt servicing despite the
incurring of a high social cost and, in this regard, encourages
private creditors and, in particular, commercial banks to continue
their initiatives and efforts to address the commercial debt problems
of middle-income developing countries; 

      13.   Invites creditor countries, private banks and multilateral
financial institutions, within their prerogatives, to continue the
initiatives and efforts to address the commercial debt problems of the
least developed countries and the requests for continued mobilization
of resources through the Debt-reduction Facility of the International
Development Association in order to help eligible least developed
countries reduce their commercial debt;

      14.   Invites the International Monetary Fund to continue devising
concrete measures and action to address the problems faced by indebted
developing countries, including the provision of bilateral
contributions and, if the need arises, to consider optimizing its
reserves management in order to facilitate the financing of the
Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility;
      
      15.   Reaffirms the Mid-term Global Review of Progress towards the
Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed
Countries for the 1990s, 4/ in particular the appropriate actions in
favour of those countries concerning their official bilateral,
commercial and multilateral debt;

      16.   Notes with concern the continuing burden of debt and debt-
service obligations of middle-income countries, including in
particular those in Africa, and encourages creditors, including
multilateral financial institutions and commercial banks, to continue
to address their obligations effectively;

      17.   Stresses the importance of continued concessional Enhanced
Structural Adjustment Facility lending operations for low-income
developing countries; 

      18.   Also stresses the need for, in addition to debt-relief
measures that include debt and debt-service reduction, new financial
flows to debtor developing countries from all sources, and urges
creditor countries and multilateral financial institutions to continue
to extend concessional financial assistance, particularly to the least
developed countries, in order to support the implementation of
economic reforms, stabilization and structural adjustment programmes
and the eradication of poverty by the developing countries so as to
enable them to extricate themselves from the debt overhang and attract
new investment and to assist them in achieving sustained economic
growth and sustainable development;

      19.   Further stresses the urgent need to continue to provide
social safety nets to vulnerable groups most adversely affected by the
implementation of economic reform programmes in the debtor countries,
in particular low-income groups;

      20.   Calls upon the international community, including the United
Nations system, and invites the Bretton Woods institutions, as well as
the private sector, to take appropriate measures and action for the
implementation of the commitments, agreements and decisions of the
major United Nations conferences and summits organized since the
beginning of the 1990s on development related to the question of
external debt;

      21.   Requests the Secretary-General, in close cooperation with
the Bretton Woods institutions and other relevant bodies of the United
Nations system, to closely follow the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries
Debt Initiative and to report to the General Assembly at its
fifty-second session on the implementation of the Initiative and of
the present resolution. 

                                                          86th plenary meeting
                                                              16 December 1996


                                     Notes

1/    Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-first Session,
Supplement No. 48 (A/51/48).

2/    A/51/294.

3/    See Legal Instruments Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round
of Multilateral Trade Negotiations, done at Marrakesh on 15 April 1994
(GATT secretariat publication, Sales No. GATT/1994-7).

4/    Resolution 50/103, annex.

 

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