President Wickremesinghe stressed the urgency of reforming the global financial architecture during his address at the 3rd South Summit of the Group of 77 and China in Kampala, Uganda.
The President also pointed out that contemporary international debt resolution architecture is more suited for a world where the Paris Club and London Club dominated global debt resolution. Currently the global debt and particularly debt in the developing world is dominated by international bond markets, and non-Paris Club lenders.
The President lamented the diversion of financial resources to debt service, hindering spending on essential public services and human development, impacting Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets.
He criticized the Common Framework for its inability to provide speedy debt resolution, causing delays in addressing recent sovereign debt distress in many G77 countries.
Addressing climate finance, President Wickremesinghe highlighted the failure of the global financial system to meet the Global South’s needs for mitigating and adapting to climate change. Despite commitments made in global forums, he pointed out the lack of real contributions. He introduced Sri Lanka’s Tropical Belt Initiative, aiming to catalyse private investments for global public goods, including biodiversity, oceans, and forest resources.
Expressing concern about rising protectionist tendencies in global trade, the President urged decisions to be made in multilateral forums rather than unilaterally. He emphasized the need for coordination between the G77 and BRICS to ensure the smooth efficiency of global trade and investment.
President Wickremesinghe also touched upon the challenges of job creation in developing economies, quoting Joseph Stiglitz on technological changes making manufacturing skills capital-intensive, resulting in fewer jobs.
While advocating for global financial reforms, the President called on the G77 + China to formulate strategies for member countries to prepare for energy transition, digital transformation, the green economy, and a skilled workforce for the new global economy.