Berkeley, CA Supporting Debt Cancellation for Impoverished Countries

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Berkeley, CA, US

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Type: Resolution

Status: Adopted on 11/6/07

Source File:


Resolution No. 63,883–N.S.

WHEREAS, the Berkeley City Council adopted the Human Rights Ordinance in 1990; and

WHEREAS, Chapter 3.68.010 of the Berkeley Municipal Code found that, “...The residents of Berkeley have continually demonstrated their concern for peace and justice based on equality among all peoples”, shown by passing a Resolution in support of banning Apartheid in South Africa (Resolution No. 53,038–N.S.) as well as a resolution in support of Debt Relief for Impoverished Countries (Resolution No. 60,323–N.S.) and agreeing to not purchase bonds issued by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the World Bank) (Resolution No. 60,479–N.S.); and

WHEREAS, many countries in Africa and elsewhere have foreign debts that were incurred by dictatorships which did not use the funds in ways that benefited the population of the country; and the people of these countries have been struggling under the burden of international debts for many years; and

WHEREAS, the debts of all developing countries have a negative impact on communities in the United States by contributing to mass migration and global poverty; and

WHEREAS, in 2000, the United States government endorsed the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which include a commitment to provide debt relief and other assistance necessary to cut global poverty in half by the year 2015, and the year 2007 is half way point towards that goal; and

WHEREAS, debt relief efforts to date are insufficient to help impoverished countries meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals; and

WHEREAS, on June 7th, 2007, Congresswoman Maxine Waters introduced the Jubilee Act of 2007 (H.R. 2634) in Congress to provide for greater responsibility in lending and expanded cancellation of debts owed to the United States and the international financial institutions by impoverished countries, to remove economic conditionalities from such cancellation, mandate transparency and accountability from governments and financial institutions and proposes responsible future lending practices.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Council of the City of Berkeley, on behalf of the citizens of the City, urges the United States government to pass the Jubilee Act for Responsible Lending and Expanded Debt Cancellation of 2007 (H.R. 2634 and S.2166), and commence efforts to obtain agreements from the international financial institutions to cancel all debts owed to them by impoverished countries.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Berkeley, recognizing that the welfare of citizens of the City is linked to the welfare of citizens in impoverished countries, urges the United States government to ensure that debt cancellation is not conditioned on any agreement to implement policies that deepen poverty or degrade the environment or undermines human rights.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Berkeley calls on members of the Greater Bay Area Congressional Delegation: Tom Lantos, Nancy Pelosi, Ellen Tauscher, Anna Eshoo and Dianne Feinstein to join their colleagues, Representatives Mike Honda, Barbara Lee, Zoe Lofgren, George Miller, Pete Stark, Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Boxer in co-sponsoring H.R. 2634 and S.2166.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Berkeley directs the City Manager to send copies of this Resolution to Senator Dianne Feinstein, and Representatives Tom Lantos, Nancy Pelosi, Ellen Tauscher, and Anna Eshoo.