HC Deb 03 June 1998 vol 313 cc234-5W
22. Mr. Mackinlay

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on progress made in relation to the Jubilee 2000 initiative. [42519]

Clare Short

Jubilee 2000 seeks the cancellation of the unpayable debt of developing countries by the year 2000. The campaign has been tremendously successful in raising public awareness of debt issues, helping to keep the international debate on debt alive. I was pleased to address some of their supporters who gathered in Birmingham at the time of the G8 Summit last month.

The UK Government are pressing for speedy and flexible implementation of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, which also seeks the early remission of such countries' unpayable debt. One element of the Mauritius Mandate, launched last year by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, aims to ensure that by the year 2000 all eligible countries have embarked on the process which will lead to debt relief under the Initiative. I therefore welcome the agreement by leaders at the G8 Summit to encourage all eligible countries to take the policy measures needed to bring them into the HIPC process by then. But it is important to bear in mind that debt relief is not provided for its own sake, it must be linked to poverty reduction.

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