Eurodad (European Network on Debt and Development) is a network of 48 development non-governmental organisations from 15 European countries working for national economic and international financing policies that achieve poverty eradication and the empowerment of the poor.
This year, the Annual Conference of Eurodad will focus on issues of debt illegitimacy and the responsibility and effectiveness of future North-South financial flows.
Eurodad network members and Southern groups have been increasingly working on issues of the legitimacy of previous loans. Also on questions of what makes future financing (loans and grants) legitimate and responsible. Clearing up previous illegitimate loans (not by charging the aid budget) and providing good quality and well-targeted new money is clearly needed if the world is to make progress towards internationally agreed goals and targets to end poverty.
There are still hundreds of billions of dollars of debt on the books of Southern countries, many of which result from very dubious loans. Civil society groups are actively working on strategies to clarify and challenge these debts. Strategies include:
At the same time public and private financial institutions are considering future loans and grants to Southern countries. There is an increase in official aid, and private investment is also rising. There are concerns about a rush of new lending to countries which have recently had some of their debts cancelled. And there is a debate about how to ensure that new finance is provided according to the expressed priorities of people on the ground (not simply of international financial institutions or government elites). Among the aspects of responsible financing which are under active debate in the Eurodad network are:
These important issues - which civil society groups have been working on for many years - are in danger of being taken over and redirected by official institutions. NGOs need to ensure they have clear and proactive strategies and demands.
The conference will consider and debate existing civil society and official initiatives in these areas and discuss and develop strategies to take forward:
The Eurodad annual conference provides an excellent opportunity for people in NGOs working primarily on debt and aid questions to learn from each other, debate with each other and test proposals for common work. As well as representatives of members across the Eurodad network speakers will be invited from Southern groups working on similar issues, plus researchers and activists working in detail on the aspects of responsible financing outlined above.
The annual conference will open on the evening of 29 October with a meeting and drinks reception. A senior representative of the German Development Ministry has been invited to address this gathering to outline the government's policy and their relevant plans for their presidencies of the EU and of the G8 during 2007.
If you are interested in interpreting at this event or would like further information, please contact Corinne or Lwiise email@example.com or on +41 22 800 14 36.
For further information about Eurodad: www.eurodad.org
ICVolunteers is recruiting experienced volunteer interpreters for the event to take care of consecutive interpretation from and to French, English and Spanish.
Travel and accommodation are reimbursed.