This house blames western lenders for the plight of developing countries

Kunal Sen joins the Oxford Union debate series

On 3 November 2022, Kunal Sen attends the prestigious Oxford Union debate on the motion ‘This House Blames Western Lenders for the Plight of Developing Countries’.

According to the World Bank, the pandemic pushed the foreign debt of low-income countries to the highest levels in 50 years, with almost two-thirds of world economies reeling under the risk of debt distress. While foreign loans can be a catalyst for economic development, when borrowed under exploitative terms, it can also be a recipe for economic disaster. 

Are Western lenders merely responding to the calls of developing countries for loans, or actively pursuing neocolonialist economic policies? Should the blame be attributed to the failing economies of developing countries or is this very failure exacerbated by the self-interest of Western lenders? Finally, can the economic distress caused by debt be seen as the cause of the plight of the developing world?

Recording available on the Oxford Union YouTube page after the event.

About the Oxford Union

The Oxford Union was founded by a group of students in 1823 to protest against Oxford University’s restrictive rules surrounding the discussion of religion and politics. To this day, the Union remains a place where students can make their voices heard by debating the most important and topical issues with the leading figures of the day. Throughout our history, The Oxford Union has played host to world leaders from US Presidents Reagan, Nixon, Carter, and Clinton, Sir Winston Churchill, iconic figures like Albert Einstein, Malcolm X, the Dalai Lama, and Mother Teresa, musical stars from Sir Elton John to Shakira and many more.