2 February 2024

From left to right.  International Monetary Fund President Kristalina Georgieva, Kenyan President William Ruto, French President Emmanuel Macron, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and World Bank President Ajay Banga at the summit of the new global financial pact, in Paris, on June 23, 2023.

“Dear comrade Macron, get ready, because I have an even stronger will to fight than thirteen years ago. » Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva concluded in his own way, on Friday June 23, the summit on the new global financial pact organized under the aegis of his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, in the hope of freeing up new resources. in the service of the fight against poverty and against global warming. “Those who have really polluted the planet for the last two hundred years are those who made the industrial revolution”had hammered the former trade unionist, the night before, during a concert on the Champ-de-Mars: “That’s why they have to pay their historic debt to the planet. »

These few chiseled formulas did not prevent the two men from having lunch together at the Elysee Palace a little later. But they alone summarize the difficulty of recreating links between the states of the north and the south of the planet on the main challenges of the moment. Organized within the Palais Brongniart, the summit brought together for two days some forty leaders from rich countries, major emerging countries and the most vulnerable states. Chinese Prime Minister Li Qiang made the trip, as did South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the only representative at this level of the G7, apart from Mr. Macron. It was a question, in the mind of the French president, of going beyond the cleavages revealed and amplified by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, on a diplomatico-financial terrain where urgency is required. Fifty-three countries are in a situation of over-indebtedness or are approaching it and the human development index fell in 2021 in nine out of ten countries.

The Elysée has put forward a form of dynamics, some announcements suggesting that both sides have made an effort to consult: an agreement on the restructuring of Zambia’s debt has been sealed, after a compromise between its creditors Chinese and Western. This is an important step towards a new debt restructuring framework. “Other countries will no doubt learn from this”, said Hakainde Hichilema, the Zambian president. A form of consensus also seemed to emerge on the establishment, within international bodies, of a system allowing a State affected by a natural disaster to suspend the service of its debt in order to concentrate on aid to his population.

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