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Advisory Committee of UN Human Rights Council Warns: Don’t Feed the Vulture Funds—They’ll Come Back for More

Sept. 6, 2016 (EIRNS)—In its just-released report on the operations of predatory vulture funds, an advisory committee to the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) took aim at Argentine President Mauricio Macri for making a sweetheart deal with the vulture funds which had preyed on his country for over a decade. In April of this year, Macri paid these bloodsuckers $6.5 billion, five times more than the $1.3 billion that a New York Federal Judge said they were owed.

Headed up by former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, and former Swiss parliamentarian, Jean Ziegler, who in the past investigated the criminal activity of Swiss banks and has charged that vulture funds do "the dirty work" of the international financial oligarchy, the advisory committee warned that submitting to these predators, as Macri did, leads to dire consequences. As reported by the Argentine daily Página 12, which had exclusive access to the committee report, it charged that Macri’s deal with the vultures "forced the government to increase its debt burden, which in the long term can weaken the State in meeting its obligations [to protect] economic and social rights, and at the same time, exacerbate inequality and financial instability."

Moreover, it charged, the deal constitutes "a real setback in the process of establishing an international mechanism to restructure foreign debt." In Sept. of 2014, at the initiative of the Group of 77 plus China, Argentina presented a resolution to the UN General Assembly calling for such a mechanism, which was approved by 124 countries.

Beyond the Argentine case, the report documents the terrible consequences for poor African and Ibero-American countries which didn’t have the ability to fight the vulture funds, and warns that

"creditors’ private interests cannot be protected at the expense of the public interest in promoting and protecting sustainable and inclusive growth and a country’s sustainable development."

The creation of a multilateral mechanism "with a mandate to resolve sovereign debt disputes in an independent and impartial manner," is essential, the report states, as this can counter the doctrine of U.S. courts to protect the vultures, "lending them greater credibility and giving them incentives to continue with the same practices in the future." (emphasis added). This issue, it insisted, must be maintained on the international agenda.

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