UofT G8 Research Centre

Help | Search | Search by Country | Search by Subject | G8 Centre

~ Compliance Contents~

Compliance with G8 Commitments:
From Köln 1999 to Okinawa 2000

Compliance Studies by Issue Area:
Köln Debt Initiative


- We therefore call for an expanded initiative that will provide faster, broader, and deeper debt relief.

- We welcome and endorse the Report of our Finance Ministers on the Köln Debt Initiative (after verification, these guidelines are taken directly from the Report of G7 Finance Ministers on the Köln Debt Initiative to the Köln Economic Summit).

- We also ask the Paris Club and other bilateral creditors to forgive commercial debt up to 90% and more in individual cases if needed to achieve debt sustainability, in particular for the very poorest among these countries.

- In addition to these amounts, we call for full cancellation on a bilateral basis, through various options, of Official Development Assistance (ODA) debt.

This commitment has been reinforced in many statements by multilateral institutions over the past year. For example, on January 22nd 2000 in Tokyo and on April 16th 2000 in Washington D.C., the G-7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors have insisted on the importance of the Köln Debt Initiative in the fight against world poverty.



Canada +1

The Canadian government has been at the forefront of the Debt Initiative and has often repeated its will to enforce it swiftly. The country has committed 40 million dollars to the HIPC trust fund to ensure that multilateral institutions have sufficient money to implement the necessary programs. Moreover, the Canadian government is committed to unilaterally forgive 100% of the commercial debts of eligible least developed countries instead of the G-7 agreed 90%. Minister of International Cooperation Diane Marleau also stated in the week following the Köln Summit that Canada should play a prominent role in helping to coordinate international efforts to implement the Köln Debt Initiative.

France +1

France has made a sensible effort in complying with the Köln Debt Initiative. On April 16th 2000, Laurent Fabius, the French Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industry maintained that France would not betray this commitment. The French government has thus committed to cancel the totality of its bilateral development debt and the totality of its commercial debt for countries eligible to Paris Club Treatment. In total, they estimate that 8 billion euros will be handed out in debt cancellation. The French government also insisted that debt reduction should not be counted as ODA, but remains additional to it. According to Mr. Hubert Védrine, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the French financial effort within the HIPC initiative will amount to 0.37% of the French GDP putting them ahead of Japan (0.22%), Germany (0.16%) and the United States (0.05%).

Germany +1

The German government prides itself on the Köln Debt Initiative, launched under its Summit presidency. According to the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, Germany is prepared to not only comply perfectly with the debt initiative, but he mentioned at the EU-Africa Summit in April 2000 that he would propose that Germany completely write off the debt of the poorest countries, a commitment of 700 million DM. This strong commitment to keep the Köln promises was also present in earlier statements by German officials.

Italy +1

The Italian government has respected the terms of the Köln Debt Initiative. It cancelled all commercial and ODA debt for countries with a per capita income lower than 300 dollars. Moreover, it contributed 60 million US$ to the ESAF-HIPC Trust Fund, and another 70 million US$ to the World Bank's HIPC Trust.

Japan +1

As Chair of the 2000 Summit, Japan intends to pursue what as been accomplished in Köln and officials maintain that Japan will continue to take an active role in helping poor countries. Calling the implementation of the Debt Initiative "urgent", Japan as granted a debt relief of up to 100% of non-ODA claims for countries under the HIPC. In addition, the Japanese government has decided to contribute almost US$ 200 million to the World Bank HIPC Trust Fund.

United Kingdom +1

Right after the Köln Summit, Tony Blair mentioned at the British House of Commons that the Debt Initiative was the most important achievement of the Summit, clearly showing a strong belief in the commitment taken by the member countries. Britain was also the first country to offer complete cancellation of the bilateral debts of countries eligible to HIPC and intends to remain at the forefront of international debt relief efforts.

United States 0

Although President Clinton and the American Department of State appear committed to comply with the Köln Debt Initiative, it seems that the Congress is highly reluctant to accept the budgetary demands of the executive branch. At the joint annual discussions of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group and the IMF in September of 1999, President Clinton stated that he demanded almost 1 billion US dollars to comply with the Köln Commitment. Later in March 2000, a report of the State Department mentioned the amount of 600 million US dollars, but this was still unapproved by the senate. The American government thus seems incapable to follow through with its commitment, even if there is an apparent will to do so.

G8 Centre
This Information System is provided by the University of Toronto Library and the G8 Research Group at the University of Toronto.
Please send comments to: g8@utoronto.ca
This page was last updated .

All contents copyright © 1995-99. University of Toronto unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.