The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has stressed the importance of debt alleviation for developing countries as the world prepares to recover from the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Guterres says debt relief is not only in the interest of developing countries, but also in the interest of humanity as it will assist citizens from developing countries and poor nations to recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus.

Guterres was speaking to the Nelson Mandela Foundation‘s Nikiwe Bikitsha after delivering the Mandela Lecture.

He says the UN has tabled a number of measures to assist developing countries.

“First suspension of payments, second debt relief for those who effectively need it. Third aspect, we need to look into the structure, the debt architecture. I believe that some structural measures need to be taken in order to avoid a situation where a series of countries in insolvency might trigger a global depression with very dramatic circumstance. Debt alleviation in the developing world is not only in the interest of the developing countries it is in the interest of everybody.”

The UN Chief says there is growing awareness – even among rich people – about the increasing threat of inequality to global stability.

Bikitsha posed questions to Guterres from people around the world. He was asked about the use of tax havens by rich people and the problem of illicit financial flows. In response, Guterres said the UN wanted action to end both problems.

Below is the UN Chief’s address: