Third World debt petition adds 37,000 names in Saskatchewan

 — June 18, 199918 juin 1999

by Jason Warick, Saskatoon Star Phoenix

More than 37,000 Saskatchewan residents have joined 20 million people worldwide in signing a petition calling for Third World debt relief.

The petition will be presented to the leaders of the world’s seven wealthiest countries at their meeting this weekend in Germany.

Nick Jesson, director for the Saskatoon Centre for Ecumenism, said the number of petitions collected in the province was “better than we ever expected.”

Signatures came mostly from church and labour union members, but names on the petition reflect many other people of diverse backgrounds, Jesson said.

“This campaign has been remarkably successful here. The debt cancellation clearly struck a chord with people across Saskatchewan.”

Jesson and others note that many of the world’s poorest countries have already paid off their debts five or even 10 times over in interest to wealthier countries like Canada or to the World Bank.

In South Africa, for example, the new democratically elected government is still paying off debts that its predecessor used to carry out its apartheid policies, Jesson noted.

The petition asks that the debts of the world’s 50 poorest nations be forgiven.

The issue of Third World debt is expected to be a major item on the agenda of the G7 leaders.

The petition is the focus of the first year of the Jubilee Initiative. This fall the focus will be on redistributing the world’s wealth.

The local branch of Oxfam-Canada is still collecting signatures for its Global Charter, asking for recognition of 10 basic human rights including housing, education, and food. Their charter will be presented at the United Nations next year.

Posted: June 18, 1999 • Permanent link:
Categories: NewsIn this article: Jubilee, third world debt
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Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : Jubilee, third world debt

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