Andrew Gwynne this week joined parliamentary colleagues from across the world at the 135th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva.
The IPU is the focal point for world-wide parliamentary dialogue and works for peace and co-operation among peoples and for the firm establishment of representative democracy. The MP for Denton and Reddish was invited to deliver a keynote speech to delegates from around the world focusing on ways in which we can tackle so-called ‘vulture funds’ and the damage they cause to developing nations.
Andrew was invited to share his knowledge as a panel member with legislators from across the world in light of his successful Private Members’ Bill, the Debt Relief Act (Developing Nations) 2010. This piece of legislation, which was adopted by the then Labour government, and subsequently retained by David Cameron restricted the activities of vulture funds. These funds, which bought developing countries’ sovereign debt at discounted prices, then sought to recover the value back in full through the court system. The legislation was crucial to developing nations as it made it illegal for these funds to use the British courts to sue a Highly Indebted Poor Country.
Following Andrew’s successful Private Members’ Bill, which has since been adopted in one form or another in several other Western nations, work continues to protect the most vulnerable countries from being picked off by large multinationals.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“I’m privileged to have the chance to speak to parliamentary colleagues from across the world in the best ways to challenge vulture funds and the damage they are doing to countries trying to develop.
I appreciate that the IPU recognised the landmark nature of the 2010 Act, and I am grateful to have the chance to share my experience in passing this legislation. We need more nations to follow suit to prevent vulture funds from exploiting the legal system.”