One of the speakers present at yesterday’s Global/Local Exchange, Priva Ha’angandu, traveled from Zambia to represent the impact of G20 policies on poor countries.

While Priva advocated debt forgiveness to those he spoke with, he also warned that countries like Zambia, which are benefiting from the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, are forced to adhere to certain conditionalities, such as privatization of public works and financial deregulation, which disadvantage have radically disrupted the country’s ability to pay for important human services like education and healthcare.

Many among the G20 dissenters worry that this week’s talks will result in a resurgence of the IMF, which was practically defunct until recently due to demand for reform. I, and many others, ask the simple question: how can the answer to a debt crisis be more debt?

On a separate note, check out the comment that was posted in response to Priva’s video:

“We already have a forum for the globally irrelevant, collectively indigent national regimes of the world, it’s called the UN, and it’s a supranational joke, just like the G20 would be if we let every country in to blabber about whatever struck their fancy. To exemplify the problem with this video’s logic on an individual level: If you were a successful professional meeting 19 of your other societally upstanding friends, would you want your meeting to be interrupted by degenerate vagrants?”

It is this kind of ignorance and misguided hatred that cannot be tolerated in global politics, nor the American psyche, if we aim to resolve any of the world’s problems.  I mean, did he just call Priva–a highly educated young man, working with international networks for responsible lending and finance–a degenerate vagrant?

Thank you Priva, for joining the People’s Voices events, for sharing the experience of Zambia, and for being part of the solution.

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