By: Mary Donahue
Celebration is in order after a huge victory for the principles of responsible lending and borrowing was won in Doha, Qatar at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) meetings held in the end of April. This round of UNCTAD meetings was crucial to the future vision and responsibilities of UNCTAD - and subsequently debt relief - as financial ministers and representatives from the around the world met to discuss the conference’s mandate, and thus set the course for its future work. UNCTAD has long been a leading forum for consensus building on debt relief initiatives, like HIPC and MDRI that have led to hundreds of billions of dollars in debt relief. But leading into the meetings, it was leaked that there were secret talks of eliminating debt and financial reform from the mandate, and it was clear that the battle to keep debt relief and principles of responsible lending and borrowing a priority would be hard fought.