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Thematic reports

A/78/179: Preserving, protecting, upholding and securing human rights in times of uncertainty - Report of the Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt


14 July 2023

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Foreign and external debt

Globally, even before the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, financial allocations for the progressive or immediate realization of human rights were perceived as a matter of domestic and continental policy. While some global attempts were made to achieve a whole-of-globe approach to taxation, they were unsuccessful. However, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now seeing the biggest spillover effect of a global crisis: the multiple and diverse crises affecting different parts of the world, where traditional, national or regional interventions are proving ineffective. This is highlighting not just the need to look at issues holistically, but also the fact that the continued disregard of individual high net worth and the informal and criminal sectors globally is making the world a perilous place.

In the context of these multiple crises affecting the world, this report will focus on interventions already in place that need to be strengthened and other, newer ones that need to be not just considered but implemented with some urgency in order to prevent the continued loss of human rights gains that is already happening across the world. There is a need for an international approach to fiscal matters, foreign debt and international financial obligations that will trigger a timely turnaround through course correction and continued vigilance, with a constant and steady eye on the most vulnerable.

Issued By:

Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights

Delivered To:

General Assembly, Seventy-eighth session